Dealing with an Angry Part

Below is my email and IM dialog with a part named Sybil.  She showed up unexpectedly in the midst of Sally’s healing journey as a “complex survivor of SRA.”   (What a ridiculous clinical term.  I have never met any boringly simple survivors!)

She wrote me email #1 out of the blue, with no preamble.  We were not looking for her.

Some aspects of her story are unique to Sybil.  Other facets of the progression demonstrate principles that are transferable to others.  I am posting this with her permission and Sally’s so you can see a bit of how I deal with a hostile part.

For me, honoring their free will is always top priority.  Second, extending dignity.

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1)            Dear Arthur Burk:

There is no anger in the person or any of the tangents.  None.  I want to establish, however, that I am angry. Very, very angry.  And that will never change.


2)            Good evening, Sybil.  Thanks for sharing where you are.  I appreciate your complete lack of ambiguity about where you stand.  I am unclear however, about the overall picture.  You say there is no anger in the person yet you are angry.  Are you standing outside the person, or were you saying that all of the anger in the person is concentrated in you?  Sorry for not understanding, but I need a little help here.


3)            Please, no explanation.  I just felt like saying something, for once.

I suppose, in a sense, I am outside the person.  Did not mean to interject myself into the processes you all are working on.  I have no bearing, for now.  I do not want to add rabbit trails.  Not worth energy.

Perhaps another time,


4)            Fair enough.  You have been heard and have permission to speak again, when you wish.  Meanwhile I will not intrude in your world at present.


5)            I expected no redemptive life change in this person.  Won’t happen.  Been watching for a long time.  Sally, as usual, is despondent.  You know how despairing people think.  Downward.  Destructively.  Still don’t know what has possessed me to write to you.  You’re present, you accept emails, even mine.  I’ve never known anyone.  That cannot change.

I remain totally angry.


6)            I expected no redemptive life change in this person.  Won’t happen.  Been watching for a long time.

You do, of course, have vastly more data about her than I do, so your expectations certainly are based on past reality, and carry some weight.

Sally, as usual, is despondent.  You know how despairing people think.  Downward.  Destructively.

Very true.  It is a constant challenge.  One can do many things to change outward circumstances, but it is the inner thinking patterns that ultimately will define most of a person’s choices.  I completely agree with you.

Still don’t know what has possessed me to write to you.    You’re present, you accept emails, even mine.

Sybil, I respect anger.  It is a sign of strength and values.  I watch a lot of people who have the personality of egg white endure all manner of junk and simply sigh.  They are small people without even the capacity to be offended for themselves.

You are, admittedly, not even remotely on my team.  We don’t share the same values or vision.  Nonetheless, I am a big enough man to recognize a kindred spirit in terms of your design, and I respectfully tip my hat to you.  I wish we were on the same team, but for now, I simply acknowledge who you are.  Egg white is not particularly compelling for me.  You, on the other hand, are beyond compelling.



I’ve never known anyone.  That cannot change.

I remain totally angry.


7)            Thank you for your reply.  You are correct, I am not on your team.  I cannot be on any team, because I do not exist.

Still, it is gratifying to exchange words.


8)            Dear Sybil,

“Exist” is an interesting term.  We are all comfortable with the fact that this person’s puppies exist, especially in the morning when they are well rested.

But what about an idea?  Does “speed” exist by itself?  A car can be speedy, but is speed itself, as an idea, something that exists apart from the car?

My reason for saying that, is my experience with the Brown Line and the Grey Line.

My current model, subject to refinement every ten minutes as necessary, has a Blue Line where the life of God is.  I think the building power of a person is broken up and placed on the Brown Line.  There, they are either paralyzed through suffering, or co-opted into serving the Underground.

And the intellect is extracted, fragmented, and placed on the Grey Line.  I am guessing this is where you are.  In one sense, you are very right.  You don’t exist in the sense of mass or substance.  But if we take a looser usage of the word “exist” I think you exist as intellect, able to process ideas and concepts.  Your anger sets you apart from the builders and the pain parts.  You have an innate sense of the horrific wrongness of this whole journey, so from your essence as intellect, you emote a legitimate fury at whatever, wherever.

So if a person has the best of their building resources stashed out of reach on the Brown Line and the best of their intellectual prowess fragmented and stashed on the Grey Line, the pain parts that are left in the vicinity of the Blue Line will not be overly powerful at changing life.

My thoughts at present.  You of course have a position inside this person that allows you a different view than mine.  I would welcome your critique of the current iteration of my model.


9)            Arthur’s model and words have been added to Sybil’s.

Now I have some complicated thinking and ponderings, and I wish we were in the same place.  I am not inside the person, or on the blue, brown, or grey line.

Have never actually been alive, in my opinion.


10)         Very helpful insight.  We will be in the same place sometime again and will explore your model at that time.  Thanks for clarifying where things are.


11)         (From Sally’s High Competence Part)

Who/what is Sybil????

12)         To High Competence

Not sure.  We will stay in dialog with her if she wants and eventually there will be some clarity.

For now, I am certainly not going to pursue her.  She can determine the cadence that works for her, and I will synchronize to her by responding whenever she would like to explore, and giving her space when she wants to contemplate.


13)         I think Arthur, sum total of him, might have influence on/in my world.

Explanation of sum total: thoughts, voice, words, writing, understanding, ability to hear pause process, check again, rethink, keen curiosity, tolerance, patience, Bible knowing, God trusting, courage, unrigid

Some may not apply

Previously I had a small point of view.

Now, perhaps there are other explanations, other structures.

My truth thus far has imprisoned me in an infinitesimal space.


14)         Dear Sybil,

There is an interesting paradigm you may wish to consider.  “The truth that we know is the biggest barrier to finding the truth that we need.”

For example, I was working with a man recently who had a really bad experience in kindergarten.  From there on, he had a lot of difficulties in life.  And the truth that he knew – kindergarten trauma – blocked him from looking for other truths.  In reality, the root issue was in his grandfather’s life, but because he knew one truth so well – trauma in his life – he didn’t look for truth in other places.

I am certainly NOT arguing with the truths that you know.  I have not been where you are or seen the things that you see, so I have no reason to feel that anything you see and know is wrong.  I am simply floating additional ideas for you to consider, weigh, adopt or discard as appropriate.

Be at peace and take your time as you ponder.  There is no scorecard to this discussion, no punishment, and no deadline.  We can just ping back and forth calmly, as you see fit.


15)         Dear Sybil,

I thought we might have time this evening to at least greet, but there was too little time and too many things on the agenda.  In the next couple of months I will be in California a lot.  I wonder if this person will come down to Anaheim again, so we can talk face to face.

Allow me to simply summarize my view of you.  In order to have anger, you must have two things:  a sense of justice and a sense of purpose.

So many of the facets of this person’s humanity have invested all of their available energy in just surviving.  They did not have the luxury of a sense of justice.  They just had to roll with whatever garbage came down the pike and figure out how to get up again.  And certainly, surviving the pain of the day does not qualify as a sense of purpose.

But people are created with some sort of innate sense of justice and sense of purpose.  Apparently a significant amount of that was concentrated in you, when they reduced the rest of the person to survival.  In my mind, you carry an amazing treasure.  Your white hot anger is a mark of personhood.  Your ability to feel outrage over the things in the womb is a mark of good health.

I celebrate your anger.  May your vitality not fade.


16)         The person is leaving for something. I can write back to you, later. Your writing is very large.


17)         Your writing is very large.

Thank you.  That is a fine compliment.

Allow me to add one layer to the story.  From early childhood to my mid-forties, I was as angry as you.  Admittedly I had far less reason to be angry, but my volcano produced very high quality lava.

I was pretty routinely judged and condemned as a bad person for my anger.  And I certainly did leave a trail of wounded people behind me, unlike you, who seem to contain your anger much better than I did.

But as I began to find my identity and to discover how much God valued my sense of justice and my passion to be productive in life (and my anger at those who cursed my productivity), my life began to turn around dramatically.

That is why I am so utterly non-offended by your anger.  In my worldview, it is fuel for a good life, not something to be healed from.  I still love your first statement to me – something about you would always be angry.

Well, I certainly hope so!!!

Cheering you on.


* * *


The infusion of truth about the beauty of her anger was too much for the dark side.  She was kidnapped and rendered incommunicado for a day or two.  Jesus rescued her and she had no memory at all of our conversation since they had edited it out of her consciousness, but she was OK being in time and space and existing.

She very quickly became a vital spokesperson for the whole system with a big perspective on what was going on in the Safe Valley and she has continued to be on our team in a big way as Sally progresses.

I sent this to her a while after her rescue and we had a good time smiling over the progression.

Sally desires to wreak as much havoc in the kingdom of darkness as possible, so often gives me permission to share snippets of her story with the world at large or individual people.

Hence this excerpt from her journey.  TFF1 SLG Coaching blog


Copyright December 2016 by Arthur Burk