I now live near one of the nicest parks in the city, and as the temperature hovered a few degrees above freezing, today I went for a walk there. There are paved paths, but I like the woodland trails, so I went to the edge of the park where a trail starts and plunged in. There were no green signs of spring yet – no buds, no new life. I did see a red-winged black-bird though, as well as many toddlers with parents in tow.
It was lovely to be in nature, enjoying the different shades of brown, tan and the blue grey of the pond there. I walked for about an hour, listening to music on my iPod, quite happy to be by myself, not envious of the young parents who needed to mind their children. I was responsible for no one and that suited my fine.
Today the nausea I’ve had for the past month has returned. It’s mild, so I can still do things. It goes away altogether if I lie down and commence staring out the window, my favorite activity. Or while I was walking, I didn’t have it. My cold is pretty well better though.
I’d say I’ve returned to more of a normal state for me altogether. For two weeks I was absorbing what happened to me in therapy last time, and now I’m back. Also for two weeks, I didn’t have the somatic memory type flashbacks which plague me. Perhaps I was feeling all these strong emotions instead, I don’t know.
They come on with physical activity, so after the walk, yep, there they are again. My old friends. I had to lie down when I got home till I felt better. I feel discouraged that they are back. How quickly I forget what my normal experience is like. If I’d only walked for half an hour, I wouldn’t have them. But an hour is over my limit, so here they are.
I have been alone all weekend, though it didn’t greatly bother me. I just chatted to a friend, E., on the phone. She is a ‘normal’, that is, we never discuss strange feelings and I haven’t told her about the memories I struggle with. I want to keep some friendships just casual, as friends to do activities with and talk about everyday things. But, I also long sometimes to tell someone what life is really like for me. It would be a relief.
I don’t trust that this friend would understand me. Though two weeks ago, we went out for tea and cake, and I did mention that I’d started therapy. She wasn’t judgmental at all. She did want to know how a therapist helps you, not ever having tried therapy. I explained that there were all these different varieties to choose from, so it depends what variety you are trying out.
She had the idea that a therapist analyzes and comes up with a solution for you. She is a chemist, so for her, that is what would make sense. Analysis in a straightforward type of way. Then she said, OK, say I have this problem with a boyfriend. Oh yeah, I grinned. E. is very attached to a former BF, who broke up with her, but has remained a close friend. As long as she sees him every week, she has no interest in anyone else. She doesn’t want to lose him, she loves him, but it is not enough for her.
So, she says, I already know I should stop seeing him. Would the therapist say, Oh, because your father did such and such, now you feel this way, and you should leave? But I already know that, and I don’t wish to leave.
So I talk in general about how a therapist might explore feelings, and that it’s not really a matter of rational understanding, but more of working through various feelings.
Another friend I mentioned therapy to also had this idea that therapy gives you a rational understanding, and he talked about a friend who has been in therapy a long time, and is now an expert on talking about herself, but is still stuck in the same issues as always.
I guess these two friends don’t greatly understand therapy, but they’re not judgmental that I decided to go for some either. I was afraid I would be judged, so hadn’t mentioned it. At least being able to mention that important part of my life is rather freeing.
Photo: Canada geese on the thin ice in the park near my house