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After recently discovering that the secret method I have been using to heal myself these last five years was not just “my crazy” as I used to call it, but rather a successful therapy method being used by psychologists and counselors called, Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS); my housemate has urged me to write my story.

Internal Family Systems therapy is the conducting of conversations within yourself and learning to understand some of the extreme personality tendencies many have developed within as a result of trauma and the need to protect one’s own soul.

Typically there are three characters involved who are described as- Managers, the central figure; Firefighters, the protectors; and Exiles, the traumatized part of the soul. There can also be a deeper spiritual aspect, or character, to facilitate the reunited healing process.

For me: Trevel was my Firefighter, Gwennie was my exile, Lyndee was my Manager, and the three winged, white lioness Seraph (part siren, part faerie, part woman) was my deeper spiritual connection to healing.

I never understood who these creatures were within me and at one time I was the pawn of my firefighter as she stepped in to protect my agonizing pain. But, since learning to accept and converse with all parts of myself, I have come to trust me and love me. To use my own edited version of Eminem (and Rihanna)’s famous words:

“I’m friends with the monster under my bed / I get along with the voices inside of my head / [I’ve learned to embrace them and love them instead] / But you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy and that’s not fair.”

I have analyzed much of my inner healing in my fantasy stories and have veiled many truths in  metaphysical and allegorical imagery. But now, I am attempting to peel back the layers again. This time in a raw retelling of just how it truly was.

Here is a cutting from my autobiographical writing:

How IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy) saved my selves from psychiatric presumption.

By Gregga J. Johnn.

There was construction on the road as the sun began glaring into my eyes. I gripped the wheel to maintain a steady speed through all the road blocks and two lanes of heavy traffic. Yet, still he set. That mighty ruler of the daylight hours fought with valiant strength as he dipped toward the horizon and his lesser partner rose to greet him with her lunatic smile. Twilight.

I dreaded what would happen next. It happened every night. Some nights were worse than others, and I knew tonight would be bad. It was my cycle. I breathed deeply as best as I could and wished I was already at my destination. But, life had never been that merciful to me.

I felt the rise begin. Right between my shoulder blades the tension began building. I squirmed a little and stretched breathing deeply again, trying, hoping, knowing there was no going back.

There was a break in the traffic flow and I moved to the outside lane pressing gently on the accelerator.

A growl emanated from my chest and I smiled in reluctance,

“Hello Trevel.”

She growled in lascivious delight and pressed heavily on the foot pedal. The car’s speed increased as did the volume on my radio and the windows opened wide to let the evening air rush about me like a torrent of wild glory.

Trevel laughed and sirens suddenly whirred in my rear view mirror. So, she, my ever protector and distractor of dark agonies disappeared and I was left to smile through embarrassing tears as the officer informed me of the double fine in construction zones.

Trevel had accomplished her purpose. I was now much distracted from my secret pains by the very real financial strain my bank account was about to feel.