This morning I went to my Psychotherapists appointment from the Hospital I am staying in. I am lucky that they are allowing me to continue seeing her when I am inpatient. We had a very productive session with two alters coming out to talk to her. My perpetrator introject Eileen, who causes me to self-harm and attempt suicide and a 16 year old alter who is very traumatised from being raped by a Priest four days in a row over the Easter Catholic services which go for from Holy Thursday through to Easter Sunday. He would abuse me in the presbytery before the Ceremony and then I would have to out onto the Altar with the whole congregation watching me. I felt sure they knew what happened to me and I felt an enormous amount of shame.
Introjection, one of many defense mechanisms posited by Sigmund Freud, occurs when a person internalizes the ideas or voices of other people. This behavior is commonly associated with the internalization of external authority, particularly that of parents.
WHAT IS INTROJECTION?
Introjection is the opposite of projection. Projection occurs when a person projects feelings or characteristics onto another person. Introjection, which is common among children and parents, occurs when a person internalizes the beliefs of other people. A child might take on elements of parents’ personalities or beliefs by adopting their political ideology, concept of right and wrong, or ideas about sex. When people introject, they identify with a person or object so strongly that they cannot separate that person or object from themselves.While everyone learns from the external world and takes on elements of other people’s beliefs and ideas, introjection occurs with minimal thought. A woman who adopts her friends’ views, after they have been carefully explained and considered, is not introjecting, but a child who reflexively adopts a parent’s views without thought can be said to be introjecting.
Introjections involve attitudes, behaviors, emotions, and perceptions that are usually obtained from influential or authoritative people in one’s life. They are neither digested nor analyzed; they are simply adopted as a part of one’s personality as concepts that one considers should be believed or behaviors that one thinks ought to be followed. Introjections do not involve an individual’s personal integrity or morality.
My Psychotherapist and Psychiatrist have really struggled with dealing with this introject that controls what happens to me on a regular basis.It is based on my Mother who was the organiser of the paedophile that abused me along with the beatings she regularly gave me to keep me in line. My introjector is manipulative, conniving, controlling and downright rude. Today she attacked the Psychotherapist verbally for her new regime of therapy that she has started. Eileen feels like the therapist is trying to get ride of her whereas in fact the therapist is trying to use the introjects’ strengths to make me stronger to be able to help the other alters with their trauma and also to reduce my self-harm episodes.
There are seven phases to the intervention and integration that the therapist is attempting to use:
Phase 1: Establish Safety and Stabilisation
Phase 2: Becoming Aware of the perpetrator introject and understanding their motives
Phase 3: The impact of the perpetrator introject on my life
Phase 4: Explain introjection. Get me to accept that the introjector exists and understand it
Phase 5: Express anger, emotional pain and process the trauma
Phase 6: Retain the power – change the perpetration
Phase 7: Enable the child to retain the power of the perpetrator
These phases obviously take time to work through and it may take months to get to Phase 2. Each step has to be meticulously processed for integration to take place and not relapse.
I am hopeful this new therapy approach along with EMDR with remove the danger that I live with everyday due to this introjectors power as an alter over me. The switching to alters is totally voluntary so the first thing I have to learn what to do is be co-present when the alter comes out. This is achieved through EMDR.