A bit of calm

Phew, feeling quit a bit better than I was yesterday, and no longer as angry.

Today at work was a very very tough day. I was still furious at Ron, still switching between dissociation and somatic memories, with black thoughts. Very difficult to concentrate on a boring, long and complex document. I spent about half my day staring into space I’d say. At least. I must have been giving off just a bizarre vibe. Right at the end of the workday I remembered I’d used xanax before, and it stilled the suicidal thoughts, so I broke one in half and knocked it back.

It seemed to kick in about half way home during my commute. I started being able to follow my novel, and started to relax a tiny bit. Then at home I felt the blackness lift, and started enjoying the sunlight pouring in the windows. I felt tired from all that emotion, but back in the land of ‘normal’. That’s a great place to be when you struggle mightily to get there.

The pill has long ago worn off, but I’m still OK. I went for a walk, had a bit of something to eat. I feel like trauma moved through me and has left the building, leaving me shaky and tired but still here.

I think this situation with Ron is difficult because I traumatically attach. Somehow everything he does is too important to me. And I can’t talk to him normally, because of this strange attachment.

I actually think he has talent as a therapist, I really do. Like I said before, he often automatically does the right thing even when he doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s just that he also misses the boat half the time, when he goes off on this analyzing kick which I find completely useless.

It is very easy to be angry with a therapist. They are right there when feelings from the past hit, and when I feel that stuff, I become absolutely furious. He is very handy to hate.

Last session, a big part of what we worked on was trust. Well, that’s key for me. I felt so untrusting of Ron and others last week, I developed major stomach problems. So when we talked about my ex-boyfriend, Ron pointed out that I may have been expecting someone leading a group to be caring and ‘boundaried’, not out to gain things for themselves. And it hit home to me that I was never sure I deserved that, and how frightening that is, not to deserve safety.

And then we talked a bit about what trusting him would look like, and though I didn’t really know, beyond that I would feel safe, it did make me think that yes, Ron was in a caretaking role, and he wouldn’t cross any boundaries, and he didn’t want anything from me, and I did feel safer. That’s a good feeling, to feel cared for in a kind and non-needy or demanding kind of way. I didn’t actually realize that safety was such a big issue for me. So that was all really good, and really addressing what worried me.

Then somehow or other things became problematic and I ended up dissociated. It would be nice if Ron could recognize when this is happening, and he totally doesn’t. If I could notice it at the time it first happens, that would also be good. Dissociation is a method I use to cope with social or work situations, to keep things going even if I get scared or some bad feelings or memories come up. It’s designed as a camouflage, so it makes sense that it is not totally obvious.

I know we were discussing parts of selves, and then Ron got really theoretical….and we were discussing how I’m suddenly enjoying cleaning, but can’t edit anything, which is bizarre behavior for me. And then he interpreted that in some annoying way, and I didn’t feel comfortable explaining how I understood this. I remember having the strong feeling of needing to leave his office…and I did leave a little early. And then at home I realized I was dissociated and started also in with the somatic memories that are so painful for me. They hurt.

Ron is trying to establish trust, which makes sense. Last session I had talked about suicidal thoughts, which no doubt he finds disturbing. So he figures trusting him is important.

The other stuff didn’t work so well.

I’m just no longer angry. I can see he’s trying, and he seems to care. He doesn’t understand, but it’s OK. I don’t either.

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6 comments
  1. gniz said:

    Well you seem to be analyzing things very well at the moment. This is all very good progress and shows a lot of hard work on your part. Have to hammer on that point cuz it seems to me you're not always quick to give yourself credit in these instances. But you are continuing to plug away in some pretty tough moments, so kudos to you.You know, we all get stuck Ellen. I have a family situation where I called social services on my brother about 8 months ago. My whole family has pretty much been blown apart by it and I have tremendous anger towards my brother and my mother. My mother protected my brother despite him being a really horrific guy recently.And I absolutely haven't been able to let go of this fury and anger I feel. I'm holding onto it for dear life. And this is as an adult, where I went through something much less traumatic than what you experienced as an infant.My point is, it's damn hard work. I could certainly do better at letting go and working through my stuff. Which is why I applaud your efforts and want you to really see how difficult it is, what you're doing.Working through such deep emotional pain is something that takes tremendous courage and not everyone has it. But you do. How cool is that?(BTW blogger ate my comment again but this time I copied it and then just pasted it in again! So there blogger!!)

  2. Ellen said:

    Aaron, I'm honoured you are sharing part of your story with me. I am so proud of you for calling the authorities to protect your nieces or nephews. Children should be a top priority because they cannot protect themselves. Certainly no one protected me. It means a lot to me to know that you did this. And I know the awful pressures families exert to keep harmful secrets. So you understand about anger. Maybe we just have to live with it, and feel it for a long time. It is justified. It didn't come out of nowhere. Thanks for the kind words. I kind of don't feel I have much choice in dealing with things actually, so I don't know how much credit I can take. But it is hard work, and it hurts, that is for sure. So thank you.I can't believe how badly blogger is treating you!!!Thank you for being my blog friend.

  3. I always say trust has to be earned not just given away. Yes Ron is in a caring position but that does not mean you have to trust him. I know you want to trust him, but the therapist I am with always says that there are more than just one part, you know. And even though you might feel one way towards him, other parts of you might feel differently. I dont know, I might be way off the mark, if so please accept my apologies.Remember 'slow is fast' x

  4. gniz said:

    Ellen, I agree with Unmothered Child. You need to trust at your own pace, and trust is something of degrees–hell, i dont even fully trust myself let alone anyone else!But sometimes we trust as an act of faith, understanding that we have chosen to take that leap in a certain situation with a certain person. That doesn't mean Ron is that person and that time for you…Anyway, thanks for your kind words about my family situation. It's been quite awful and I haven't always handled it the best. But we do what we can, when we can. And I am proud that I did what I thought was right.Talk soon and be well!

  5. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,Its interesting about the Xanax. That for me is bliss. I know what you mean about being enveloped by the descending blackness and unable to escape enough to even distract yourself. For me having something that works and lifts that would feel nothing short of euphoric. Many wouldn't understand that but you know how bad it feels when drowning in the dark unable to even catch your own thoughts, just not nice at all. I am glad things picked up for you. As has already been said I can't help feeling the first line is trust and until that is established then its never going to be a linear moving forward but a constant back and forth. I do hope that comes too because I think if there comes a time when the trust is there then there will be less problems after talking to the therapist in terms of the ripples of not knowing whether to open up and let go.All the bestNechtan

  6. Ellen said:

    @UC – Don't worry, I wouldn't be offended by any thoughts you might have UC. Even if I didn't agree, it would be quite OK! Yes, there are different parts. These younger parts are the ones who like Ron I think, They trust him. It's the more grown up part of me that struggles with this issue. I think that's how it's working. Thanks for your thoughts. @gniz – Trust is kind of complicated. I'm confused by this topic, so don't know how to reply. thanks for your thoughts!Your family situation is truly painful and you are very brave in facing it. Hey – you are not perfect? Quelle surpirse! 🙂 None of us are. take care@Nechtan – Yeah, xanax the wonder drug. Sometimes it's the best thing. I understand a lot more of the horrors of anxiety after the last few weeks Nechtan. I didn't know it can be so severe. I do happen to know you too have a pill prescribed but you do not wish to take it. Maybe you will re-consider? Yes trust is important. It's a confusing issue for me so I'll leave it at that.thanks for the kind words. take care

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