Hero Child

 
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Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
screams from childhood
letters to Barbara

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English articles

 

IFS Therapy session: "dress of responsibility" and "the swamp"

 

"My Truth Part ó living unknowingly as a child under the dark shadow of fascism

 

My Letter to Marilyn Van Derbur — Despite my Father's Misogyny, Despite the Incest, I became a Strong, Spirited and Daring Woman

 

Martin Miller's Important Contribution to the History and development of Psychotherapy — About the English translation of his book "The True Drama of the Gifted Child"

 

 

Alice Miller: War Trauma and Betrayal Trauma

 

 

about Martin Miller's German book "The True Drama of the Gifted Child"

 

 

 

escape from the fog of admiration - my response to Alice Miller

 

Facing a Wall of Silence

essay from the book "Second Generation Voices"

 

a love letter to my anger

 

the war against the truth

 

 

insights about therapy and IFS therapy

 

IFS therapy sessions

 

Getting to Know my Self-Hatred

 

Liberation from Guilt

 

"spirituality" cements childhood blindness

 

 

The Trap of Forgiveness

 

On my side

 

The Futility of Punishment — or — The Buddha as a Symbol of Death

 

Child Abuse--the Essential Reason for Murder

 

When Do We Protect Innocent Lives?

 

Outrage over a Handcuffed Girl

 

Hansel and Gretel - Lost, Deep in the Forest

 

A Christmas Gift to be Burnt?

 

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meeting my guide

 

 Barbara: I was going to bed, and I have an automatic light. I have enough time to go to the bedroom, and eventually, it turns off. When I got into my bedroom, my cat was on my bed, and I took her in my arms and wanted to carry her to her place. As I am on the middle of the steps, the light went out. I put my cat down, and then ó all my brain could do was focus on the bedroom door, which was closing and my only source of light at that moment. I could not think, could not count the steps, or turn on another switch close by ó I just looked at this door, and that the door was closing. And I think I fell at least two steps down, hit my head against the glass door. I was so incredibly lucky. My right foot was so swollen, my left foot is also blue and hurting, my left knee is hurt. Also I hurt my right hand and wrist, but they are better now and I can play and practice the piano again. I was so lucky.

 But the next morning, I was thinking: I am afraid of death. I mean, the door is closing ó and I could not even think of protecting myself. It was as if somewhere in my brain, there was almost like an obsession with this door closing and the light going away. And I didnít even look where I was going. I have gone down in the dark, I can count the steps; I know exactly how many steps there are. I did nothing; I did absolutely nothing. I looked at the door ó and I fell

 So I would like to talk with whoever was involved in this. Of course I have a part that thinks this is kind of bizarre. But I mean, there is so much death around us that I think that the thought of dying, and if there is a part of me that is afraid of death ó I think I can listen to that part

 Because it was so ó I mean I have fallen badly, but that night, I didnít think about protecting myself at all. I really didnít. And that is in retrospect almost shocking to me. Instead of just standing there for a moment and trying to think: what can I do to help, to protect myself ó all I saw was the door, and it was almost like: I have to hurry because the door is closing

 Therapist: So I imagine, when you fell, there was a moment when you realized you were OK. But there were some moments when you didnít know if you were OK. Right

 Barbara: Yeah. Therapist: What was the first moment when you registered that you were OK

 Barbara: Well I wasnít OK, I was in terribly pain. The first thing you notice is the pain that you have. And then the first thought is: Oh no, this canít be true, this cannot have happened

 Therapist: Right

Barbara: And every time I go down the stairs now, itís like: it comes back, the fall really comes back, as a shock. Still as a shock. Therapist: And I am wondering about that. I think itís important for us to work with this part, of course ó but there are still parts that are in shock, right? When you go back down the stairs, itís scary, right? Barbara: Yeah. I am very careful now. But the memory comes back of this moment when I KNEW I was falling ó before you even land, you know that you are in trouble. And when my head hit the glass door ó not a very firm, strong glass door, I did not even have a bruise there ó that was the last part that hit anything as a I fell. First the feet, then the knee, the hand, and then the head, that was the sequence. It was just horrible. A really bad fall.

 Therapist: I am so glad that you did not hurt yourself more

 Barbara: Yeah, and the next day, the physical therapist came; at first, he came every day, then every other day. I am in good hands, and I am taking care of it. But it was really shocking.

Therapist: So where do you notice the shock? What did the parts that are holding the shock feel?

 Barbara: (Pause) Thatís like a very silent anxiety. Itís not as loud as my anxiety can be. I also wanted to say that since our last session, I have not had the feeling of lead in my body. I just want you to know that. I thought that was a very very beautiful, a wonderful session. I put it on my website. Therapist: I am glad about that. Barbara: So I am doing better than I was doing then. I donít think I am depressed like I was then. I have good and bad days, but I am better. But I still canít sleep, and unless the Democrats end the filibuster and get HR1 through the senate and save democracy and our right to vote, I am afraid it wonít change. There is something inside of me that is so anxious about that

 But what I FEEL when I think about the shock is the beginning of anxiety. Itís not the overwhelming anxiety when I cannot really function anymore. Itís always everywhere in my body, and usually itís more in my arms and a little in my back; itís like the anxiety comes up from behind to embrace me. Thatís what it feels like. But itís not loud. Itís gentle. And when I walk down the stairs, the biggest thought is: Why could you not watch out? Why did you not protect yourself? That comes. That comes

 Therapist: All right. Do you want to talk with the part you feel prevented you from watching out? If you think thatís a part.

 Barbara: Yeah. 

Therapist: So where do you notice the one that did not watch out? 

Barbara: (Pause) Well, I notice more first the part that says: How could that happen? Itís not really a reproachful part; itís not that the part says: you are stupid. Thatís not what the part says. Itís more like: How could this happen? Itís not even: Why were you not more careful? Itís more like: Why couldnít you be more careful? Why could you not look out for yourself? Thatís what I hear first. And thatís what I notice when I walk down the stairs. How could this happen? Itís not reproachful. Itís almost bewilderment. 

Therapist: Yeah, Yeah. Like it cannot conceive what happened. 

Barbara: And why couldnít you just stop for a moment, just stand for a moment, and say: How can I get down the stairs ó instead of just looking at the door that is closing. And I think the part that could not protect me is the part that was looking at the door and saying: I have to hurry up here. 

Therapist: So maybe we can learn from that part why it felt the need to rush, right? 

Barbara: (Pause) Itís like a part that is very far away. Like in the distance, almost in a fog. 

Therapist: Mhm. Barbara: I notice something, but I donít know who or what it is. (Pause) Ö. almost untouchable, very far away. (Pause) And itís almost like this part says: I donít want to come closer. I am afraid to come closer. And then I say: Why? (Pause) Because, the part says, I am not welcome. 

Therapist: Do you know what it means? 

Barbara: No, I donít know what it means. I can ask what it means. (Pause) Well, itís as if the part says: you donít want to know about me. 

Therapist: Mhm. Barbara: The part says: ďYou are keeping me away, and you donít let me in.Ē And now I feel that there are parts that are really afraid of this part. Now I can really sense fear, that there are parts that donít want to talk about this part. Therapist: Is it worth us shifting to them and learning about their fears? 

Barbara: Mhm. And itís like these parts are saying, or one of them is saying: This is going to be about death and dying, there is going to be some spiritual stuff in this part, and I donít want to hear this. 

Therapist: Mhm. So do they need to stay around and listen, or can they go somewhere else as we get to know this other part? 

Barbara: I am kind of curious about this part, why itís so adamant. 

Therapist: Mhm, good. 

Barbara: (Pause) This part brings up spirituality, brings up even Dick and his spirituality, and is dead-set against it. Doesnít want to have anything to do with any of this, hates religion. It says: ďI am not going near any of this?Ē And I wonder: How do you know that this is in the part? That this is what is in the distance? How do you know that this part is about spirituality? 

Therapist: Aha. 

Barbara: Then the critical part says: ďThatís my guess because the whole thing was bizarre: the door closing, the light going away, you are going to die. I know this. We just have to accept it and deal with it. And when you die, your life is over. I donít want to hear anything else.Ē 

Therapist: Thatís what a part of you is saying? 

Barbara: Yeah. 

Therapist: Thatís the part of you saying that does not want you to go to the other one. So what do they need from you? 

Barbara: Now I feel sadness, a sadness that I am 71, a sadness that I am getting closer to death, and itís about my children and the pandemic. There is a lot of loss right now. I feel I have aged a lot during this year, and it feels that the life that I had is gone. In a way thatís like dying, too. In many ways, I am spoiled here, but still: the life that I had a year ago is over. There is the anti-spirituality part, and then there is the sadness that I am getting closer to death. I understand this part, and I understand the other part, too. I am not judging them, or anything. I accept them as who they are; they are part of me. And then my question would be: Can I listen to the other part? 

Therapist: Mhm 

Barbara: (Pause) There is still some distrust in the first part that is so dead-set against spirituality, but itís willing to sit down for a moment and listen to the other part. 

Therapist: Good. 

Barbara: It feels like this part came a little closer, but itís still way back there. And itís strange what the part says: ďI am what is left of you when you die.Ē Thatís what this part says. (Pause) And all I can say is: ďHow do you mean that?Ē 

And itís like this part says: (Pause) ďIt SEEMS like you are afraid to die, but thatís not really IT.Ē The part says: ďWhat is so difficult to accept when you die is what is left of you.Ē What do I leave behind. I mean, my body will not be there anymore, but what do I leave behind? So my question to the part if it is HER concern what is really left of me. 

Therapist: Mhm 

Barbara: And the part says: ďItís not a concernÖ.Ē 

Therapist: Mhm 

Barbara: (Pause) ďIt is really about acceptance. It is about that you can accept what you have done with your life. And that it has made a differenceÖ..Ē 

Therapist: Mhm. 

Barbara: ďAnd that will be there when you die. So any part of you that is worried about dying or concerned about dying ó I am almost like the assurance that you donít let that be a part of you. You donít allow it in, you donít allow it to be a part of you. And the assurance is what a big difference you have made with your life.Ē And the part says: ďYou donít even want to hear this. (Crying quietly.) But you have made enormous differences with your life that will be there when you are going to die, that will not go away.Ē 

Therapist: Mhm 

Barbara: The part says: ďYou have made a difference for your children in many ways.Ē 

Therapist: Right. 

Barbara: And I mean, the way in which I have done therapy, and have communicated about therapy, and continue to do so on my website. There are not many people who do that. The forum I have moderated now for sixteen years, and it has made a difference in many peopleís lives. And the relationship with Alice Miller has made a difference, in good ways and then in a very shocking way. So this part says: ďThis is really what your life has been about.Ē 

I think I told you maybe four or five weeks ago, I had a writing prompt, and I came to evaluate my life. It was about: ďWhat do you want to understand about your life. What one question has been underlying your journey through lifeóand why? What have you already learned in answer to that question?Ē And I responded to the question, and what came up were two moments of my life. 

The first was when I sent off my essay ďFacing a Wall of SilenceĒ to the editors of the book ďSecond Generation VoicesĒ in Florida. And I remember: I dropped it off in the mail and came to my session with Dick. And I remember that we started the session, and I said: ďThere is no part today. I just feel very alive.Ē So he said that I could imagine going up a hill and leave my parts behind. So I did that, and after a while he asked me: ďHow do you feel now?Ē And I said: ďI feel even more alive. I feel so incredibly alive that my body is burning.Ē And as I asked about it, this aliveness said: ďThatís what you are here for.Ē 

That day I had for the first time in my life the feeling: ďThat is what I am here for.Ē And the other time was when I wrote ďAliceMiller: War and Betrayal Trauma,Ē which I worked on with Rebecca here. And I remember, after we had met for the first time to discuss what I had written, I went for a walk in the Botanic Garden, and again having this very strong feeling: ďThis is what I am here for.Ē 

So the question that was in this prompt brought up something from ďFacing a Wall of SilenceĒ that I said in there: ďI see my life in the serviceÖĒ And that makes me so cry. (Deep crying for a long time.)

I wrote: ďI see my life in the service of breaking silences, within me and around me.Ē And thatís what I have done. 

Therapist: Thatís a beautiful sentence. 

Barbara: And since then, I have done nothing but this; I have also helped Martin to break his silence. He would have broken it without me, but I helped him, and I supported him. And thatís what I have done, within me and around me. 

Therapist: Can you say this one more time?Ē 

Barbara: I see my life in the service of breaking silences, within me and around me. 

Therapist: I think thatís just beautiful. 

Barbara: That was in this essay, towards the end of this essay. When I wrote this, I didnít even really know what I was writing. But when I wrote four or five weeks ago about: ďWho am I?Ē that became a very central focus of what I was writing, that this is what I am here for. That was my job, and I have done it. 

And itís like this part is saying: ďYou can really die in peace.Ē And I remember that I felt very peaceful after I had written that text; I really felt that I have fulfilled what I came here to do. And I think for some people that maybe very spiritual, but for me itís just a feeling that I had: ďThis is what I am here for.Ē Itís not a feeling I can describe to you, itís nothing that the part who does not believe in spirituality would easily accept ó but even this part knows that I felt this way, and that this is part of MY human experience. Of my experience of living, of being alive. 

Therapist: Ja. 

Barbara: So my question to this part right now is: Why did I need to fall? Did I need to fall to meet you? 

Therapist: Aha, thatís interesting. Mhm. 

Barbara: (Pause) Itís like this part says that there is the fear of dying, that we will just disappear, that we will be just gone, that is the end of you. And the part says: ďYes, that will be the end of your body. But it will not be the end of what you have put into this world. You have in many ways helped change this world.Ē Not in a big way, but in my own way, I have really changed some things that were important to me, and that have been important, I think, to many Germans of my generation. I mean, Iím not alone in this. And also in the next generation, the grandchildren of the war generation, many struggle with what happened in Nazi Germany. 

But there is still again the question: Why this fall? And then itís like the part says that there is a struggle between not wanting to die ó and accepting your imprint, what you have done. This part says, itís not really a big struggle, but it is, well, the part says, itís just there. Itís maybe part of getting old and dying that there is the wish not to die and to live ó but there are also days when I am tired, and when I hear from my dear friends and what it is like to live with Alzheimer. I donít want to get old in this way, I would really rather leave than know thatís what I have to face. 

So itís like this part says: ďI am here to comfort you.Ē 

Therapist: Mhm. 

Barbara: ďI am really here to comfort you. Even if you die ó your contribution was a good one, a positive one, and you can really be at peace.Ē The part encourages me very much to continue to transcribe entries from my diaries about my experiences with Alice, which I started when the pandemic began. 

Therapist: Ja. 

Barbara: That is something that this part very much encourages me to do because it says itís like documenting something, all the conversations we had, the visits we had. I knew Alice in a different way than Martin. I also had a bad experience with her, like Martin. So if you make a picture of a person: there are different parts of a person, there are different sides to a person. And I feel what I have to share ó and this part says: ďWhat you have to share is just one part of the puzzle of who was Alice Miller. And it not only deserves to be there, but it is also really important to be there.Ē 

And there is also the thought that I have had many times: the stuff thatís on my website, to put it in a book, not everything, but certain things. My website ends one day, then everything thatís on there will be lost; but in a book itís different, in a book it still will be there. 

Jeanne: Thatís a good idea. 

Barbara: And thatís also something that this part encourages me to do and it says: ďThat is part of what you came here to do, that you need to leave.Ē So basically this part is encouraging me to do that. And itís also saying ó you know when I think about my siblings, or I think about Germany, or I think about my marriages and the relationships that I have lost, which sometimes hurts, but because I am far away, it does not hurt as much as it would, I think, if I lived closer to everybody. But itís like this part says: ďYou were here to do what you have done, and just follow this path. Donít go back to Germany; donít try to connect with roots that you donít really have, donít try toÖĒ I mean this parts calls it ó itís a little judgmental ó but almost sentimental. 

The part says: ďWhen you have a mission, you fulfill it. Or a calling. You fulfill it. And you walk your path, and thatís what you need to do. Thatís what you are here to do. But if you spend your time on regretting what you have lost, or on being attached to this ó thatís not what youíre here for. That is not what youíre here for.Ē 

Therapist: How do you feel towards this part? 

Barbara: Very loving. 

Therapist: Ja. 

Barbara: Very moved, very loving, very surprised. And itís like this part is sitting across from me now; itís not way back there anymore. And I understand better the other part that says: I donít want to hear anything spiritual, because this part isÖ I would not even call it spiritual. Itís just part of my life experience where I felt very much connected to something that was more than me. I mean, I cannot describe to you the feeling: ďThatís what I am here to do.Ē If you have that feeling for almost a day, in a very strong way, thatís a very moving, almost overwhelming and unforgettable feeling. 

Therapist: Right. 

Barbara: I mean, to my rational mind, it doesnít sound very convincing. But it was a very very strong feeling. 

Therapist: Do you understand more the partís fear of this part? 

Barbara: (Pause) I donít think the other part is afraid anymore. I think itís just listening, and also listening to what I am saying, kind of quietly observing, not objecting to anything that this part has said because this part also knows what I have felt. And it did not feel like any big spiritual moment at that time, it just felt like: thatís what you are here for. I canít tell it to you any better. There is not better way to explain it. I am moved by this part, I am touched by this part, I feel very encouraged but it ó because itís so rare that I see my life and my path in this way. 

Therapist: Right, right. 

Barbara: I much more often see it as regret, you know, or even as failure: you failed your family, and you couldnít keep these relationships and marriages going. Itís not there all the time, and itís usually not in terms of that I judge myself, but there is regret. And in this part, there is no regret, there is just a very clear ó the word mission comes back, and calling: ďYou had a job to do, and you have done a good job, and you will continue to do it.Ē 

And that makes me remember right now, when my sons were little, and we still lived in Germany, before Chicago. You know who Rudolf Dreikurs is, right? He wrote a book called ďChildren the Challenge.Ē And I had quotes from this book ó I did not have a typewriter then, or a computer, so I wrote them out by hand. They were on our kitchen door, which was a slinging door that I still can see. So every time you pulled it out of the wall, you would look at this quote. And basically the quote was: you invite children as a friend into your house, and you treat them like a friend, like a friend wants to be treated. There was this determination in me that would find the books, and find the people, all through my life. And my family then believed: she is spoiling her children, and she is doing this and thatÖ and they called them ďthe experiment.Ē Like I have told you, my sister said to me: The way you raise your children is a slap in our motherís face. 

I mean, not even in a million years would I have looked at it in this way. I just did what I thought was the right thing to do. When I entered therapy, I remember coming home and facing long, difficult discussions with my first husband about why I was doing this. I see the arm chair where he was sitting, and he would argue with me for an hour or two. He was so against it, and afraid to have a ďcrazyĒ wife. And still, I went. I just went. I continued. And I think I told you about the moment when I was with Alan Siegel, when I was sitting on the couch in his office in Chicago, and he on his chair, and I was lamenting about how my mother tried to break my will. As I was going on and on about this, I suddenly realized: I am still sitting here, against the will of my family and my husbandÖ Therapist. Ja. Barbara: Ö and I looked at him, and I said to him that I realized that I had a will. He just smiled at me and said: ďI have been wondering about this for a while.Ē 

Therapist: Aha. 

Barbara: So there was something in there, in me, that just walked and walked and did something. One of my screams is called ďNO,Ē and it said NO to my mother when I was small, and NO to my father after the incest, and NO to my family, my country almost, when I learned about the Holocaust. And it was not a NO to who they were as people or what they did during Hitler, but it was about after the war: they just ignored everything. If something happens on this scale, you have to change your life, you have to change some of your beliefs. That did not happen. 

And today, talking with this part, I see this NO ó but I also see that there was something inside of me that, very unafraid, unintimidated, just followed a certain pathÖ 

Therapist: Yeah. 

Barbara: Ö and just did it, even if my first husband did not agree, even if my family didnít, even if I lost those relationships, and it was painful. Itís not even that I didnít give up ó it was like there was no other option but to do this. And this part says it was not just the NO; the NO helped. The part says now that itís like an essence inside of me that was looking for something, ďthat had a certain mission, that had a certain task, and you followed it.Ē The part says: ďI just want to encourage you to continue to do this. Donít regretÖĒ 

Therapist: Mhm. 

Barbara:Ö ďdonít feel you have failed, donít look back. Look at what you still can do with your life, with what is close to your heart, and what is your mission, and just do it. Enjoy it. Make the best of it. And give your energy, your life energy and your devotion and your love to this mission ó and not to trying to fix things that you cannot fix, and that, yes, are part of your regret about your life. But itís not important.Ē 

Iím just stunned by this part. I am sitting here like: Who is this? Itís such a strong voice. Itís such a very loving and encouraging voice that I am absolutely stunned. 

Therapist: So it makes me wonder whether it might be a guide? 

Barbara: (Pause) The other, critical part says: we are in spiritual territoryÖ 

Therapist: I know. I did not know how to say it better, exactly. 

Barbara: I have never met a guide. I have never acknowledged a guide, but this is a guide. This is a very strong part. Itís very beautiful part. 

Therapist: Mhm. I agree. 

Barbara: So this part (critical part) was right. (Laughing) It knew where this was going. 

Therapist: Yes, it knew it. So ask it if itís all that bad. 

Barbara: No, the (critical) part is totally impressed by this part, by the guideÖ 

Therapist: Good. 

Barbara: Ö because itís a very supportive part, it is a very loving part that really appreciates my life, and me, and what I have done. I mean if my family looks at my life, it looks like a failure. 

Therapist: Right. 

Barbara: And for this guide, it looks like: ďNo, you did exactly what you were meant to do. And just continue on your path.Ē 

Therapist: Exactly. 

Barbara: So for me, itís stunning; and also for the (critical) part, itís really moving, very deeply moving, because itís so rare, it says, ďthat you have completely encouraging parts.Ē At least for me, that doesnít happen too often. 

Therapist: Right. Mhm. Right. 

Barbara: And even how this part came from very far away, kind of through the fog, and came closer, and sat down in order to talk to me ó is very beautiful in terms of how this communication happened. It is also moving for the critical part. 

Therapist: It is? OK, good. 

Barbara: Yeah, it is. Because itís also for this critical part stunning that there is somebody like this inside of me. So what is a guide, my parts want to ask you. 

Therapist: Well, ask this part if itís a part of you, or if itís a guide that is within you, in your system. 

Barbara: Well, it hasnít been part of my system. 

Therapist: Has not. 

Barbara: No, it hasnít. Itís connecting. 

Therapist: Itís connecting, itís giving you information, is that right? 

Barbara: And it has to do with the fog. 

Therapist: Yeah. And what does it have to do with the fog? 

Barbara: Well, because I am afraid to die, and the part says: ďDonít be afraid. You have a mission and fulfill it, and you walk your path. Death is the end of your body, but your mission has made an impact, and the impact will continue. 

Therapist: Right. So, this, itís a wisdomÖ. 

Barbara: Mhm. 

Therapist: Ö that you are connecting with that isnít part of your system, but is available to your system. That sounds like a guide to me. Right. Itís like a larger knowing. 

Barbara: Mhm. 

Therapist: Yeah. Mhm. 

Barbara: Very surprising, and very very moving for all my parts. 

Therapist: And maybe you can see if there is anything more it wants you to know. 

Barbara: (Pause) There is a deep love in this part for me. 

Therapist: OK. 

Barbara: A very very deep love. And appreciation. (Pause) And just a lot of encouragement. 

Therapist: A lot of encouragement to really trust your purpose, trust your value, your purposeÖ. 

Barbara: Trust my journey and also trust that this is what is important. That all the other things that I was taught were so important: family, and marriage, and what it means to be a woman, what you have have to do, or what you can, or cannot do as a woman, mhm, that this is not important. Thatís what I hear from this part. What is important is breaking silences within you and around you. And just continue your journey. 

I mean itís almost like the guide showed up in this easy without me understanding and knowing. I mean I wrote this sentence, Jeanne ó I sent it off in 2001, that is twenty years ago ó and it became true. I even helped Alice Miller breaking silences. She started her website with me, after I had started my website; from the beginning, I answered readers emails on her website, with her. I was a very important supporter, not only of her books, but also of how she viewed child abuse, how she dealt with her readers. I helped even Alice Miller break silences. I certainly helped Martin, I have helped people on the forum, and clients and friends. 

So the guide says: ďThis is more important than all the other stuff. Everything you were taught is not that important, for you, for your life, and for your children. 

Therapist: Mhm. Right. 

Barbara: And itís like the part says: ďYou had to fall to hear me. You had to fall so that you could get to know me.Ē And I knew the next morning that there isÖ In retrospect, it is almost incomprehensible how I ignored to protect myself. My question to the part is: Why DID I ignore protecting myself in this moment? And the part says: ďYou have fallen many times, and you have been hurt many times, you have had marriages end, you have had difficulties with your family. So sometimes, for us to wake up and go to a new awareness, it hurts.Ē (Laughing) And the part says: ďItís obvious that you never would have had this conversation with Jeanne if you had not fallen. You would not be asking these questions. You would not have invited me in. You wouldnít even have thought about me and just continued living your life. So you needed this interruptionÖĒ 

Therapist: Right. 

Barbara: ďÖ to get to know me, to acknowledge me, and to invite me.Ē 

This is a very stunning session. Just very moving. 

Therapist: So much so. Mhm, how are the other parts doing that were afraid of the guide? 

Barbara: Nobody is afraid. Itís like a relief to all my parts. I mean, guide is a beautiful word because when you have a life journey like I have had, you sometimes think: Oh my god, what am I doing here? I am doing everything wrong, and I am messing up all the relationships, and I canít do this right and that right. And there is this guidance that says: ďNo, itís not about this. Donít even think about it, and donít worry about it. You have done with your life what you were meant to do, and just continue doing it.Ē Thatís what I hear from this part. 

Therapist: Mhm. Itís lovely, what a lovely ó mhm, so many words to describe it ó but itís so loving, and so spacious, and acknowledging. Right. Really appreciative of what you did in this lifetime. 

Barbara: And also taking seriously what I have done. I mean, many people would say: What kind of a life goal is it to break silences? I mean, people want to be a CEO, or you want to be this or that, want to be ďsuccessful.Ē But to break silences? Who has a life goal like this? And itís like this part says: ďItís you. Thatís your essence. Thatís who you are, and thatís what you are all about.Ē 

Therapist: You are a truth teller. 

Barbara: And one of the nicest things anybody ever has said to me was by my older son. Therapist: What did he say to you? Barbara: Öthat I remind him of Vaclav Havelís book ďLiving in Truth.Ē Very unforgettable. Very unforgettable. Now, I feel very grateful to this guide, and I welcome her. And itís not about hugging her, itís not about holding her. I still feel distance ó not distance as distance, but distance as: ďI am here ó and you are there. I am a guide ó and you live your life.Ē 

I donít feel need for a physical connection, of holding her. Just like having a really good friend on my side, and at my side. Thatís what it feels like. More than a friend. A beautiful wisdom, a very encouraging wisdom that I donít hear too often. 

Therapist: I hope that now that you have created a portal, a point of access to this part, to this guide rather, as you are opening you up to this wisdom, hopefully, you can have more of an ongoing conversation. 

Barbara: I certainly welcome the part and all my parts welcome this part because they all feel that it is an incredible contribution to my life, and also to my process of aging and dying. A very valuable part. 

Therapist: Itís really wonderful. 

Barbara: Thank you, Jeanne. 

Therapist: Youíre welcome, Barbara. What a privilege, really. 

Barbara: What a gift for me. Thank you, Jeanne. 

Therapist: Youíre welcome.