I’ve avoided writing up my last session, I think because it touched on things that are too painful for me to want to deal with. First my family, as I had visited a fair amount due to visitors that I wanted to see, then the question of ‘what I have’, i.e., what kind of parts am I in? Martine works quite a bit with family systems, so she is used to the idea that everyone has parts. I don’t know. I’ve read about family systems, and it is interesting. I’m not sure the parts I have fit into that though. Different child parts. Maybe. However none of the parts I know about are adults, as in family systems – they’re all child parts. I could find parts of myself that correspond to family systems parts, but they’d kind of all be part of the main part of myself, the adult.

Anyway, I hate talking about both these topics, and so that’s likely why I cannot remember what we discussed.

I do remember near the end of the session Martine handed me two largish black stones to hold. Heavy, shiny black, smooth and cool. They are supposed to help with grounding, and I’d become dysregulated (new favourite word). For me, the stones felt uncomfortable to hold – I felt odd holding them, as opposed to when we’d done other grounding like surrounding myself with cushions and breathing, which made me feel better. Martine took back the stones, but said that when you have a strong reaction to something, it’s a sign that the thing is important and powerful for you. So maybe more stone holding is in my future – I’m OK with that. They made me feel uncomfortable, but it wasn’t painful.

We didn’t do the scan and connection piece that we’d done in previous sessions, where Martine asked me to scan her and say how I perceived her – whether accepting, or sad, or whatever. I like doing that – I always find it interesting, and often challenging to pay attention to our connection. I think when I get emotional about anything, which I have been by end of session, I expect any connection we’d had to be broken. Just because that would be the case with my mother. Finding the connection still there is always surprising.

I have thought that I’d not focus on these trauma based parts and instead go with what Martine specializes in, which is somatic psychotherapy. She likes that, she knows it, and I believe I can benefit. I suspect working with trauma based parts takes particular training, and as it’s not that common a complaint, most therapists don’t know what to do. I’m pretty sure Ron was out of his depth in that department, though he insisted his method worked on all issues.

And lastly, I do miss Ron. And younger parts were very attached to him, so I miss him through them. But I am still convinced I would not get anywhere further with him. It was kind of as if he was the solution, just being in his presence once a week, but in that case, I’d need to see him forever. I need the therapy to help me with the real world, so I can make my own important relationships out there.

Well, I truly cannot remember more of the session. I thought it would come back if I wrote it out, but it hasn’t. I’ll write out the next one sooner.

 

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Skies are the most interesting in fall here. Skyscraper clouds moving slowly across the sky, bits of blue and purple, and the air has a fall haze in the sunlight. I spend some of my day at the park today, as you can probably guess.

I moved my therapy sessions to Thursdays, so I could more easily attend choir Wed evenings. Then when Wednesday rolled around, I felt it impossibly difficult to go, so I didn’t. I felt depressed in a triggered kind of a way, and couldn’t bear the thought of having to interact with anyone. The choir is kind of a jolly experience, and I felt I just couldn’t get through it.

I’m going to yoga/meditation Tuesdays, and that unfailingly triggers me. Which makes me angry as usual, since i don’t see why. The class is very gentle, with some stretches focused on one part of the body, some walking meditation, then maybe fifteen minutes sitting meditation.

So the next day, I still felt too rough for choir.

Anyway. I want to review my session, even though at the moment it seems a bit far away.

This session again I wanted to spend time moaning, so I did that for the first few minutes. The sorrows of my life that seemed upper-most. We again made a list.

A lot of Miriam’s comments in all of my sessions so far have to do with boundaries – what mine are, what other people’s are. One technique she has is to visualize a circle, between two people, where conversation/comments go, and where you can evaluate how to respond, and also how not to take some things personally or as an attack. The words go between the two people’s boundaries, not wounding either side.

I brought up two troublesome scenarios. I’d gone on an internet date on the weekend, my second of the year actually. I’m not a big dater. This one did not go well, and it upset me. I realize I’m being too sensitive to let the small things upset me – we just weren’t a good fit.

I met this man at a mall, and I hate malls. He’d pretty much insisted it was the half-way point of both our homes, so OK. The date consisted of walking around the mall chatting. He said some things I found insulting/condescending, but I didn’t really respond at the time. I was in social mode, trying to make the conversation pleasant. Which isn’t a bad thing to do is it.

For instance he was very intent on his passion for travel, and insisted on knowing where I’d travelled to lately. I brought up some travels when I was younger, which he dismissed. Then he said, no wonder you don’t travel, if you have trouble even finding the mall. Sheesh. I hadn’t been thrilled by the location, but I had found it, and hadn’t complained. Then he wanted to know what car I drive (a very commonplace kind, ten years old), and what my living situation was (ie was I a home-owner). Made me feel like this really poor person who was trying to catch a rich boyfriend – him, presumably. Oh. My. God.

So he was materialistic, then he mansplained a few things to me, like which watches were the best brands, how they cost more than 10,000…Ugh.

Maybe I should have tried to shorten the date to less than an hour. But I didn’t. Neither of us mentioned seeing each other again at least – that was pretty clear.

Martine said it sounded like I had shown up, but he really hadn’t. That is, for him, it seemed we had to be the same, otherwise we could not connect (this was about the travel). While actually, no one needs to be the same, if they’re not. That’s where boundaries come in. And especially the idea of the hoop between people (I think of it as one of those hula hoops we used to use in gym, thrown between two people). The different ideas go in the hoop. Then the other person can respond to any part of this they like, without taking anything personally.

The opposite of this is that two people are scrunched right up against each other, and what is not the same is threatening, so must be rejected or fought.

I am going to try to think of my next ‘date’ experience that way. If I ever go on another one. A hoop between the two people for conversation to fall into.

The next situation was dealing with my family. We don’t get along, and being with them brings many painful memories, and they are still currently dysfunctional. So I avoid. But then I’m lonely, and I feel ambivalent about casting myself off altogether. And now there are visitors from ‘the olde countrie’ so I will be expected to show up.

This conversations was more involved, but the suggestion was similar.  About our various values, how mine are different from my family’s, and how it’s fine to have my owns values, as they are part of my boundary. And she talked about how I might be triggering my family’s defences by the way I respond to them, kind of scaring them. That it’s helpful to have a kind of space around each person, and conversation goes into a space between the two.

I’m to try not to go in to a visit unboundaried, where I’m vulnerable to whatever anyone might say or do. I think I’m to visualize a safe boundary, where I interact outside of that. If someone says something I find hurtful, I can consider it from more of a distance before I respond.

Or something like that. I’m not at all used to thinking about things in this way. I don’t think Ron mentioned boundaries once in eight years.

Then we talked a bit about my family’s history, my parents situation, the dynamics of my family. I found it a bit overwhelming by the end and was crying a bit. I felt I was already depressed and this was making me worse. However, she does need to know this stuff to make any sense of my problems, so at least we went over some of it.

In the last few minutes, Martine did something else she does in a lot of sessions. I was to look at her and speak about how I thought we were connecting, or how I perceived her. I thought she looked kind of pale and maybe depressed. She said that she was cold (it was the first cold day of the year and the heating in her room hadn’t been turned on yet), but she actually didn’t feel sad. I’d wondered if I’d depressed her. So we chatted back and forth, Martine saying how she was chilly but otherwise feeling fine. She wondered if I’d ever felt I’d depressed my mother. Which was astute, as my mother would be very upset and depressed by any troubles I’d ever share with her.

I’m interested in this stuff about boundaries. I have a lot of social anxiety, and I think some of that may be about boundaries – not feeling safe, feeling too exposed to anything that is said and done.

In the days since the session I’ve worried further that I am the most boring and confusing client ever. Some of the body stuff I mention doesn’t make much sense, so maybe she thinks I’m inventing it.

I am learning things. Now I need to try some of this stuff out, see if it makes a difference.

 

 

 

My last session was a bit triggering and so of course I’ve avoided writing about it, even though I’m wanting to track what happens so I can consider it later.

I decided to talk about some difficult experiences I’d had in the week. I had attempted to make my daily walk more challenging by adding in short runs of just a minute sprinkled throughout. This seemed fine at the time, but led to my sleeping very little that night. The next day, I had a doctor’s appointment, which I’d long delayed. I was anxious about it, as I wanted to mention a symptom that related to a cancer I’d had in the past.

I suppose I was terribly keyed up in the appointment, and this was a young male doctor I’d never met before. However, he reassured me that he didn’t think anything is wrong, though I will also get a scan to be sure.

That night, I don’t think I slept at all. In the periods I got up, I seemed to be crying and feeling as if I was younger.

So I spoke about all this, and how frustrated I was that trying to improve my health with exercise led to so much difficulty for me. When I don’t sleep at all, my day passes in a haze of tiredness.

This therapist is OK, and I like how she doesn’t make the triggering worse. But she made another off the wall suggestion which bugged me – apparently she had a client with sleep difficulties who was diagnosed with narcolepsy – did I think it might be my issue also? I thought that was stupid, though I didn’t say it like that. At home I checked google and I truly have none of the symptoms, except difficulties with sleep. These offhand suggestions really make me question if this T knows what she is doing.

After discussing this problem for a bit, I realized I was getting overwhelmed, so I said I’d had enough. And what I like, is that she never implies that I’m avoiding things, as Ron did. We spent the rest of the session grounding. We did some stuff with cushions supporting my arms, back and feet, and focusing on something pleasant in the room. It’s fairly easy, because her therapy room is quite large and has some nice things, with big windows. She has some plants there, so I focused on that. I breathed with the plants, and the T spoke about how plants give off oxygen, and we can then take that in, and plants take in carbon dioxide that we breathe out. Very peaceful and calming.

The pain of what we were speaking about didn’t entirely go away of course. I could still feel it, and felt an urge to leave the therapy early, but didn’t. I hung in there to the end.

I’ve done the meditation with cushions a few times this week, even bought some new houseplants so I’d have some to look at while i was breathing. It was helpful.

Overall though, I was the most triggered by this session compared to any of the others so far. For the rest of the day, and the next, I was very depressed.

We talked about painful things about half the session, and spent the second half doing the grounding. Maybe the painful stuff could be just a quarter of the session in future.

There was likely more to the session but as several days have passed, that’s all I can remember. Have you found grounding helpful to you while trying to address trauma?

Therapy day. I rush out first thing in the morning to get to my session. Since being ‘between contracts’ I’m not used to getting up and out in the mornings anymore – if I’m working, I leave the house a whole lot earlier than 10 to nine, but it seems early at the moment.

I’m glad I wrote on here about my feelings about therapy, as I followed my own and others’ advice, and just talked. We did no somatic psychotherapy stuff at all. The T pointed out that she has the traditional psychodynamic training as well, and we can talk. I ‘vomited up’ my stress, listing out all my concerns. I didn’t really let her get much of a word in edgewise for the first ten minutes, I was so eager to get some of my stuff out there.

I felt more of a connection to the T this time. She says different kinds of things than Ron did. She wrote down the ‘agenda’ on a tablet, which she says she then saves and keeps in my file. The agenda seemed like my whole life, where I have major issues in a lot of categories.

  1. Work – It’s started to stress me out a lot how poorly this job hunt is going. Though I try to remember that it just takes one person to say yes, and bang, I’m no longer out of work. But I’m not getting a lot of calls at the moment, and it’s discouraging. I worry that at my age, I won’t find anything else, and my life will spiral down into poverty. Meantime, I’m spending money on therapy that a poor person cannot spend.
  2. My Family. They’ve pre-occupied my mind lately. Trying not to obsess though. They were hurtful, is basically what I tell the T.
  3. Lack of friends. As a single person, I feel I need more friends. I have two or three, but don’t see them that often so spend much time alone. The difficulties trying to be with people.
  4. Ex husband. An unpleasant interaction with him this week, concerning my son, by phone. I cut the conversation short and almost hung up on him, but did remain civil.
  5. My tendency to shut down. I went to a very gentle yoga class this week which somehow still caused me to shut down after, pulling me into a low mood.
  6. Being in parts. I’m not sure what this means for me really – everyone can have parts of some kind, so not sure if my parts are the traumatic kind. I know the way my mind works is influenced by this tendency to fragment though.

I remember what I said, but less of what she said. She discussed how she calls this an agenda, and how we can pick one or a few items to address in this session. Ron never took notes, so I’m interested in how much she seems to write down.

We went back and forth quite a bit on kind of superficial stuff- I was wondering about her note-taking for instance, so she told me about that. I can’t remember what else, though it was mostly driven by myself. We had a bit of a discussion on parts, that it’s not DID, how I experience them (like bits of dialogue that don’t feel like I’m thinking (ego dystonic)). I didn’t want to dive into parts though because that would be so hard and, um, disregulating.

After a half hour where we still hadn’t dived into a topic in any depth, I said I’d really like to address one thing, let’s take the friends issue.

I have trouble making friends, but I’ve been making some efforts to get out and about. I went to a knitting group this week, and then the yoga as well. She asked what about a social anxiety group. I had a lot of negative feelings about this, as I’ve tried one in the past. Honestly, I don’t want to judge, but the people in that group were not at all functional, and were mostly young men. Although I did get things out of the group, I feel like I want to be around people who can function. The people in that group really weren’t about to get over their issues anytime soon.

And, I forgot to add this, it’s a whole lot easier to socialize with people who are sociable rather than with those who have great difficulty forming social connections. Why go to a group where people by definition will not be that friendly?

The T said that it’s fine to have my own values, that form a kind of internal boundary as to whom I might be looking for as friends, and that one of those values is ability to function.

In general I think I felt quite angry, not at anyone in particular, but just thinking back to this stuck group of people in the social anxiety group. And with myself, for still struggling with the same issue so many years later. Though to be fair to myself, I think my social abilities have progressed. Yet still struggling with friends.

We talked a bit about connection, and she spoke a bit about sex. I’d mentioned that the young men in the group seemed to be motivated by an absence of sex/girlfriends, rather than wanting to have friends in their life.

Now what did she say?

I mentioned my ex-husband, how naive I’d been when young, really not noticing if I had a connection to a person or not, even though I did have friends. That I’d basically learned about connection from my last therapy.

She said something about how she’s had clients that are not aware that they have any say in sexual relationships, or something? Ugh, can’t remember. And that they called themselves naive, which is OK, it’s where they are at. Or something.

We talked about authenticity. I said I didn’t think authenticity was necessarily that helpful when trying to have friendships. I think you need to be social, to show the person you are happy to see them, to be interested, rather than showing how bad you feel. If you want to have friends. And that Ron had promoted authenticity as the basis of good mental health, that you need to show who you really are, but that I disagree with that.

The T spoke about how it’s important to know who we are, what our own values are, at least on the inside. But that it’s not always appropriate to show everyone all of who we are. She spent a lot more time talking about the importance of authenticity than the importance of being agreeably sociable, but she did agree that they’re not always compatible. I felt we were basically in agreement on that, which was a relief after clashing with Ron on that subject for so long. I’m again feeling angry with this topic for some reason. Maybe because my ex is extremely authentic, which results in him spewing his very large feeling over me, at least in the past, and sometimes still.

I think I remember that the T was speaking about oneself as a kind of container, with an inside boundary and an outside boundary. You want to know who you authentically are on the inside, what you feel, and your values. The outside is not the same as the inside – you get to show the parts you want to the outside world – you get to choose.

She said she’d like me to make a timeline of my life with important incidents marked along it, either at home or with her, as part of her intake. I might do that myself. Then, I’m to smile or at least nod and make eye contact with anyone I meet during the week who looks like they might be interesting or worth knowing. I can do that.

I am going to need to name T of course. I didn’t want to jump on a name, but am pondering it.

All in all, I feel positive about this therapist. I’m interested in what she has to say and I feel our discussions are worthwhile. I’m a bit apprehensive about plunging into really dark topics with her, but I’m interested in these topics that Ron and I never discussed.

 

I am so depressed.

I miss Ron very much. I remember right from the start when I first went to see him, he seemed to care about me. And even when the therapy clearly wasn’t helping, there was still the sense of caring.

This current therapy feels so cold. I go first thing in the morning, so I’m in full coping mode, rushing to get ready and get to the appointment, then being social.

She did invite me to start by bringing in anything I wanted to talk about. As I am alone a lot, I didn’t really have anything to say. At that moment, I felt OK. If I was going right now, I’d say how depressed and alone I feel.

For depression, she tries to ‘up-regulate’. She has me change my posture and breathing and such. Which does help for the moments that I’m sitting in her office.

At the same time, I don’t feel heard and acknowledged. She doesn’t learn my story. Is it an elaborate trick so the therapist stays calm?

I’m exaggerating a bit. But there is this sense that no one is hearing me. It is easy for me not to feel sometimes, in specific circumstances, especially if I’m being encouraged not to feel.

When I go back, I think I’m going to insist on speaking more, and be less eager to hear all the techniques this therapist has. She knows almost nothing about me, yet I’m paying her to hear me. I don’t say how I feel, yet it’s her job to hear how I feel.

I got depressed yesterday, wanting to spend long stretches lying down and not doing anything, not even reading. Today wasn’t much better.

I went to knitting group this morning in an attempt to be more social. However it’s hard to be social when depressed. I feel then that people don’t like me, I can’t think of things to chat about, and people don’t respond well to me. That basically happened this morning, although by the end of the time I did say a few things.

I try.

Now I can’t sleep. Unusual, it’s now after 2 am and I’m still wide awake. Crying for part of the time.

Of course I’m going to be sad to lose someone as important to me as Ron was. It’s a delayed reaction I suppose, as I saw him last at the beginning of August. It would have been strange perhaps if I’d not had a reaction to needing to let him go.

It’s a bit hard to write, but I want to get back in the habit.

Life goes along. I am more worried about finding working after a month and a half off. I did have a few calls end of week so hopefully the trend will be upwards soon.

I went to several more movies in the festival – four in all. They were a bit pricey but in the grand scheme of things, this won’t make much difference to my budget. I need money coming in, and a few dollars here or there is not the problem.

I continue to feel lonely. However a new friend did accompany me to one of the films which was good. However, that film was pretty triggering for both of us – it concerned domestic violence, with a young indigenous woman who is beaten by her boyfriend, and another woman tries to help her without much success.

We went for a drink after to discuss. My friend was so critical of the movie, but I thought it was well done. She felt it showed white privilege….I’m not so sure.

In any case, it was kind of upsetting because we could unfortunately both relate to this subject, and we went the evening before my therapy early the next day, so I was still upset from it the next day.

I am kind of missing Ron. However I don’t think my therapy with him was  helping me, so in a way, I respect myself for leaving and trying something else. But my life is so lonely, and he was one person who had known me longer than a year. I miss being known.

The new therapy is kind of the opposite of Ron’s. If feelings come up for me, the T is always concerned with keeping within the window of tolerance, rather than exploring and deepening as would happen with Ron.

She actually knows very little about me. There’s way less emphasis on telling my story about my past.

The topic was again boundaries. This is not necessarily boundaries with other people, though of course it may be. It’s about having a secure boundary around myself in order to ensure I feel safe. I think of it as a kind of energetic boundary, though the T didn’t describe it that way.

We did an exercise where I spooled out some wool and put it in a circle around myself, sitting on a stool in the middle. And sitting there, looking out at the wool, I did feel quite calm and composed, more so than before. It was striking how that feeling just occurred, just from sitting in a circle of wool. She suggested savouring this feeling of calm and safety, and it felt good to focus in on a positive feeling for a while.

Earlier, I brought up her ‘diagnosis’ which was actually a suggestion from our first session, that i might be on the neuro diversity spectrum. I pointed out that I didn’t seem to have any of the symptoms of that that I’d read about, and i could for instance make eye contact without much problem. She said she’d mainly suggested this because she’d thought I might be having sensory issues, with my difficulties with exercise, and that maybe I’d been falsely thinking I have issues with dissociation but actually was neuro diverse. She seemed to think maybe Ron had misled me on that. I told her he barely ever even said the word ‘dissociation’ and never labelled or diagnosed anything whatsoever. Anyway, I think the neuro diversity issue is off the table for now since it really doesn’t seem to fit.

In any case. She mainly suggests movements to me, and then wants to know how I feel when I do them. Kind of. It’s difficult to explain actually, or maybe to remember. It’s all so different.

I finally got the textbook that explains this method – Sensorimotor Psychotherapy by Pat Ogden. Apparently the therapist is supposed to work a great deal in the present, the idea being that issues will appear in the present context within the therapy without particularly needing to revisit the past. To me, this is a good idea. Whatever story I try to tell about the past is kind of made up anyway, in that it’s whatever I think is important and also whatever I can consciously remember, and those things may not be the vital things. Whereas something happening in the present really is happening – I don’t have to construct it in the same way.

I don’t think I’ll get attached to this T as I did to Ron. I suspect I don’t attach deeply to women, though women friends are important to me. But there’s not all that intensity I may feel with men. Maybe that’s a good thing – I won’t keep going if the therapy isn’t going anywhere. She seems matter of fact, like a teacher or a coach, rather than someone I’m confiding intimate details of my life to. Which I’m not, and it’s kind of a relief to tell the truth.

The other things I remember about the session was that I experienced odd pockets of upset. For instance, when I stepped out of the boundary of wool I’d created, I was suddenly extremely sad, so much so that I couldn’t follow what the T was saying to me. That didn’t make sense to me at all, as I’d felt positive and in control just a minute before.

I do want control of my emotions – regulation. It’s definitely an issue for me that I get hijacked by emotional states, which makes it hard to have an adult life where I must function. I manage, but it takes a huge toll. For Ron, it’s a problem to try and control how you feel – that’s what leads to illness. But I don’t think so. I think it’s very reasonable to have some control over one’s emotions. A lot of people learn this naturally growing up by having adults nurture, help, and model. I didn’t have that, so I need to learn it now. That makes a lot of sense to me.

 

 

 

One of those difficult days. For no good reason, I am having a hard time with the day. I have shut myself up indoors due to allergies, but as long as I do that, they are not bad today. Later I will go for a walk. Life feels painful, though nothing bad has happened. It just kind of hurts to breathe. I’ll describe the main points of my life this week.

Today I wanted to cook my allergy soup. It’s a soup recommended in my Allergy book, and I suspect it’s really helped my symptoms this year. Key ingredients – 1 cup parsley, carrots, kale, broccoli, green onion. Then grated daikon radish on top. I have the ingredients, but I can’t get it together enough to make the darn soup.

I went on an internet date last weekend. Just for a tea and a walk. The fellow was nice enough. Maybe not wildly handsome, but then neither am I. A few texts back and forth during the week, but he hasn’t asked for another date. I suggested a film at our current (very large and famous) movie festival, and that was the last I heard of him. I suppose I need to get back on the internet. Perhaps he was scared off by the price of a ticket, though we’d go dutch of course. He was wearing oldish clothes, for the city, but it’s hard to say if that was lack of interest in clothes or lack of prosperity.

He did text me a haiku poem about our walk. Which I guess is romantic (and low cost, lol). But if he’s interested, I guess I’d expect another date this weekend.

I sent Ron a farewell email earlier this week. I kept it simple and just thanked him for his care for me over the years. He replied saying it had been his pleasure and I was always welcome to come back. And that was it. Not much for such a longstanding and important relationship. And yet – I didn’t want to pay for another session. I’d say our therapy petered out. I’d sit there and feel that it was impossible to explain anything, or that anything I could say would help.

I am mourning the end of this therapy. Mixed feelings really. I want to try more modern trauma therapy, and I’m doing that, so it does feel good to have chosen a different path finally. I know Ron truly cared, and I’ve internalized that, but sometimes caring is not enough.

Later in the week, I went for my second session of trauma therapy. I felt better about this second session than about the first. No mention of my being on the ‘spectrum’ this time – maybe she’s re-evaluating. This is such a different way of doing therapy than I’m used to. Her space is nicer – more homey and larger with more light. She’s also more expensive, so maybe she can afford that. She actually offered me tea, and there was a glass bottle of water and a clean glass there for me. Kind of luxurious seeming. She had a few table lamps and asked whether I wanted them on, which I did.

I maintained eye contact throughout, maybe trying to show I’m not on the spectrum. I hope I didn’t stare at her. I can tell you her eyes are green. I felt more adult this session – I dressed better, sat up straighter, put more effort into speaking up.

At the start, I brought up my feelings about the close of the previous session, where she’d asked me to repeat back the date and time of our next session, and asked how I keep track of appointments. This was after we’d discussed some dissociation issues i have, so I’d assumed she was thinking I needed extra help remembering the basics, which felt condescending.

She explored this in therapist fashion, speaking about boundaries. I’ve had so much therapy and no one discussed boundaries with me before. Apparently, there is a boundary called a processing boundary (?), which is interfering with another’s thoughts, telling them how they think. She asked if I’d had others in my life who did that, and I brought up the example of my father, who was overbearing and didn’t have respect for anyone’s own personhood.

The T has a technique she uses called ‘throwing down a ring between us’, where you can say something but the other is supposed to give it space, not react too fast, I guess. So she threw this in the ring – that she asks all her clients to repeat their appointment time back to her to avoid mix-ups, which she finds a hazard in her practice. I was instantly mollified – I’d assumed it was special to me.

Afterwards, thinking about it, I do think she’d said something about dissociation when she asked me to repeat the time of the appointment. Maybe not. But I suspect both are true – she often asks clients to repeat the time, and she thought I might need that because of having dissociation. Which is untrue, since I have never mixed up an appointment time.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the session, but it ended up being a lot about boundaries. There’s an exercise she showed me where you move your feet up and down on the floor, which is supposed to be grounding and establishing a boundary. We also made boundaries with arms held out and hands flexed, like a traffic cop, but with both hands. I do feel stronger when I take that posture.

All in all, the session was interesting. I like that I’m not expected to dig up traumas and painful things to work on, so far anyway. At one point something painful came up, and instead of going into it, she pointed out that I was being flooded, and said to notice that simply. The goal is to stay within the window of tolerance and if I’m being flooded, that’s not something we desire. Completely different from Ron.

Boundaries is a painful issue for me because my ex had pretty much no boundaries. He pretty much always would have to fix anyone else’s problem, or else he would explode all over everybody in a terrifying way if he became unhappy. This caused so much chaos for us. This past relationship came up in the conversation and was what caused me to become flooded.

Anyhow, I was glad that I stayed adult and was trying to acknowledge the feelings without becoming overwhelmed by them.

The other thing I did this week was go to a Film Festival film. It’s expensive, but I’m happy I went. I picked the film just for the plot, and because I’d seen and liked a previous film the director did. The film was disappointing, however, I was proud I went. I always mean to go to at least one film in the festival, and I’d finally done that. I’ve bought a ticket to see another one next week, which will be more serious but which was well reviewed. I might go to a few more besides, as I’m off work, despite the expense.

Lastly, job hunting is going nowhere. Only one call all last week, and that was for a contract which paid too little. Hopefully things will pick up in the next few weeks.