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Unread June 27th, 2008, 10:24 AM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Posts: 207
Default Re: Introverted perps

Surely, print off anything here and show it to your therapist. Lots of therapists have not been trained in dissociation, probably most therapists.

There are several adaptive reasons why introjects come into being:
a) they hold all the meanness, which would otherwise be something the child would have to acknowledge is in herself (it seems to be in that one over there)
b) it keeps the child's behavior under the thumb of the internal perpetrator, which may make the external perpetrator less likely, or at least its a try,
c) it allows the child to maintain whatever attachment there may be to the perpetrator, by blurring the boundary between outside and inside, kind of cementing the bond across the boundary,
d) it "encysts" the meanness. This is similar to a) above, but here it refers to the way a cyst encapsulates pus, so the toxin doesn't spread all over the body. In a) the emphasis was on the child acknowledging that there is meanness (or other perpetration sensibilities) in her,
e) it is really the only way the child knows to go. At the moment of trauma, the perperator's narcissism causes him/her to see the child as an object to be used, not a person with humanity, deserving compassion. so the child learns, "I'm an object to be used, I have not human, I am defective." The identificaiton with the perpetrator, and the introjection of the perpetrator, means the child has adopted that point of view, through the eyes of the perpetrator (that's why the name of my workshop and forthcoming book includes, "looking through the eyes" in the tite).
f) with the perpetrators point of view internalized in an introject, the child gets to experience power the way the perpetrator did, instead of only getting to feel like a helpless victim,
g) any injured or traumatized child will be profound shame -- about being a helpless victim, or about having a body that responds the way it was designed to, about not preventing harm, about being "defective," about being to blame, and on and on. Not all of the above, but some of them or other beliefs about being shameful. When the child takes in the perpetrator's point of view, through introjection, it memorializes the dynamic of shame, repeating it over and over in flashbacks or nightmares or in reenactments of experiences reminiscent of the trauma,
h) behavioral reenactents of perptetration and being a helpless victim may be the only way a childl, or a grown up child, has to tell their story. When the experience is unconscious, in whole or in part, the story is underground and can't be told by words in the conscious mind. But "the body keeps the score", and the behavior tells the story of perpetration. So then the introject is a story teller, helping to memorialize what needs to be healed.
i) Finally, remember that an introject is a child part of self wearing an introject costume. When we remember that, it is easier to have compassion for the internal perpetrator.

Therapists also can get confused and incorrectly believe an introject is the external perpetrator in a way, and try to get rid of it or blame it. But this forgets the adaptive (and thankless) job a perpetrator introject serves in survival.

I still haven't gotten to the treatment piece. Out of time again.
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