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Journaling using the dialogue technique

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by blake, Aug 8, 2014.

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  1. blake

    blake Well known member

    I'm still slowly making my way through the SEP. I came across the dialogue technique in journaling (when you have an imaginary conversation with someone who hurt you, for example). At first I didn't think much of it, to be honest, and then I wrote down a conversation between my child self and my mother. Wow! For the first time in my life I was able to see things from her point of view. This might sound altruistic, but in fact what it did was help me see how none of what happened was my fault. If she had been able to do better, I'm sure she would have. I see that now thanks to the journaling. What a breakthrough for me!

    I'm starting to understand how forgiveness comes. It almost felt like an apology from her (since she is mentally ill now, I will never get a real apology from her, but doing it in writing was the next best thing).

    Just another reason why I'm so grateful for this program, this forum and all the generous who make it possible.

    Blake
     
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  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Blake, thanks for taking the time to share your experience, and congratulations on your insight. It warmed my heart to read it. I love how journaling can help us find new narratives for understanding our experiences. How freeing that must have felt!
     
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  3. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    Blake,
    I have been working the SEP as well and when I came to this journal entry, for day 15 I believe, I froze and was unable to do it. Two days have gone by and I have been unable to start. You have now inspired me to give it a try! I know it will be difficult but I am hopeful to gain some new insight into my relationship with my parents.
    Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Blessings, Angel
     
    Forest likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I didn't use the conversation technique in my journaling, but nonetheless arrived at the same conclusion, that by seeing things
    from my mother's, father's and older brother's point of view (putting myself in their shoes), I finally understood why they caused
    me childhood trauma. They had TMS repressed emotions of their own. Realizing what they had to handle led me to understanding
    them much better and that led to forgiving them. Being released from anger and guilt was wonderful.
     
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  5. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi Angelic,
    It feels really nice to know my feedback was helpful to you.
    Feel free to let me know how it goes. As I mentioned it took me a few tries to a really get what
    the technique was all about.
     
    angelic333 likes this.
  6. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    So I was finally able to start the dialog. Sadly, I got the same old, same old, the way these conversations go when they happen in real life. So, a prayer, please God, help me to see this in another way. Please God, show me what it is that I am not seeing.
    I will try again later or tomorrow. Those who pray, please pray for me to see past this . Thank you.
     
    Enrique likes this.
  7. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hello Walt,

    I'm encouraged knowing you were successful in forgiving your family members and finding relief from the pain. releasing your emotions and finding forgiveness. I'm just at the beginning and I have to admit I'm hoping for my own pain-free outcome somewhere down the road.
     
  8. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi angelic,
    I know how you feel when you pray to god to show you the way. I know it's so tough for me when I'm in a lot of pain (like now) and searching for a way out of it. Feels like we're doing all the right things, doesn't it!? Yet the pain remains. It just sucks! No two ways about it and I'm sure everyone who has tms can relate to this frustration.

    When I feel this way I try to take all the pressure off myself in terms of getting results. For example, I stop reading success stories, because they end up making me feel worse. I also reread the outcome independence article by Alan Gordon. I'm also reading Nicole sach's book, The Meaning of Truth. In it she talks a lot about patience and embracing our process. in other words, I stop focusing on doing the program to get results and I just do the program. These things don't make the pain lessen, but they do help my soul feel a little bit less heavy. None of this is easy, I know. Definitely, no book cure for me!

    I think breakthroughs happen in their own good time, when we're ready for them. Trust in yourself (I'm saying this to me too) and that you are doing everything exactly how you should be. Eventually, one of the techniques will work for you. I'm sure of it, since it has worked for so many other people before us.

    And yes, I will definitely pray for you... and me.
    God bless
     
  9. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    Blake,
    I will take your advice and just do the process without focusing on the results. Afterall, that is an example of how to stay "in the moment".
    The other journaling techniques have come more easily to me. I like the unsent letters. I can speak freely in those and somehow feel "heard".
    Thank you for your prayers.
    Angel
     
  10. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    Blake,
    I will take your advice and just do the process without focusing on the results. Afterall, that is an example of how to stay "in the moment".
    The other journaling techniques have come more easily to me. I like the unsent letters. I can speak freely in those and somehow feel "heard".
    Thank you for your prayers.
    Angel
     
  11. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    Blake, so I kept trying the dialog. After three days it has been coming more easily and now I really like it. I am seeing things from both sides. It is like a weight has come off my chest. Many many thanks. Gratefully, Angel
     
  12. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi Angel,
    So happy for you!!! I'm really glad you're finding some relief.

    For me, it helped me discover that my mother is a good person who was going through really hard times (she had post-partum depression, which eventually was diagnosed as schizophrenia) and was in an abusive relationship with my father. She was also isolated from her family. I truly believe now, for the first time in my life, that if she could have done better she would have. Deep down inside, I'm convinced that she felt bad at the time and, despite her mental illness now, still feels bad about everything that happened. All of this has helped me stop feeling so angry at her and this anger has now been replaced with compassion for both her and me. It was just a really crappy situation all around. My dad was really abusive because he too had been sexually abused as a child. So you can see how anger begets anger and compassion begets compassion. I'm proud of myself to be breaking this cycle in my own life, for my sake and the sake of my son.

    The real test for me will be this weekend when I travel to go visit my mom. Normally I need to do a lot of feeling stuffing to be able to make it through the visit. I'm curious to see how my new awareness will translate into my real-world relationship with her. I'll keep you posted, if that's ok with you.
    Again, I'm so happy for you.

    All the best
    Blake
     
  13. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Blake, my journaling was a lot about my boyhood and my parents fighting, mainly about money.
    I put myself in their shoes and realized they were having a lot of TMS physical and emotional pain
    (Dad had back aches, Mom had migraine headaches). Understanding them better today helped me to
    foregive them for yesterday.

    I hope you have a good visit with your mom. She may just need compassion. Try a hug.
    Maybe bring her some flowers.
     
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  14. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    Blake,
    I have already prayed that your visit leaves you with a sense of peace. I like that you say compassion begets compassion.
    I am not sure yet why my mother is an emotionally unavailable woman, just that she always has been. I have been able to switch my resentment to a mind of compassion. How lonely she must feel. In the dialog she keeps telling me that she doesn't like people clinging to her. Whatever that is about, it is not for me to know right now. When I used to leave my younger son with her, she would always say to me, "He is such a good boy. He just plays with his toys. You don't even know he is there." That would fire me up. So you paid no attention to him for three hours? Ugh. It was my childhood all over again - ignored until you balk. Sounds simple but still painful to this day. Anytime I try to discuss any negative emotion with her I am told that I shouldn't feel that way. My father the same thing. They don't want to know you unless everything is great.
    All parents do the best they can with the tools they have. I feel sorry for them for their self centeredness and for whatever it is in them that blocks their Love.
    Again, I wish you the best on your visit. I will be thinking about you.
    Blessings, Angel
     
  15. blake

    blake Well known member

    Thank you in advance for your prayers, Angel,


    I'm sad to hear about your relationship with your mom. I think not having a loving mom is one of life's most difficult things to grieve. I feel like I've been at it forever. It's such a primal relationship and when the bonding isn't there, it just causes so much damage. Plus, it's a problem that just keeps on giving. As you pointed out with the way she treats your son, new pain and frustration gets generated even in the present too. That's how I see with my mom too.

    That being said (because I think it's important to not minimize this), I also truly believe that forgiveness and letting go come when we are ready. I know I'm not quite there yet, but I'm closer than I was even just a few short months ago. And boy, being able to share this with like-minded people on this forum sure is helpful.

    Sending warm thoughts your way,
    Blake
     
    Ellen likes this.
  16. MissShamrocks

    MissShamrocks Peer Supporter

    So glad you've found some peace with this Blake! I can only imagine how wonderful that feels! I haven't come across this style of journaling yet, but you've inspired me to try it out!
     
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