I again have no recollection of what Ron was wearing. I know to group he wore a suit, dark shirt, no tie. What on earth was he wearing on Friday when I saw him? Again, I’m not really seeing him. How strange.
I always pay him when I first arrive. This time our eyes meet (eye contact – I’m working on it) and he has this almost unfriendly look that I’m not used to. I sit down and don’t want to talk.
I can’t remember the first part of the session well. We talked about the group, and Ron got theoretical and I followed what he was saying at the time, but don’t remember now what it was.
E. So I went to the group last night.
E. It was OK. I kind of fought with E. Do you think I did damage?
R. I think you hurt her feelings.
E. All I said was I couldn’t relate….that’s not mean. Well, saying that what she was talking about was really stupid…that was not good.
Ron nods his head. I hadn’t actually said that, but I’d implied it anyway.
R. It seemed like you didn’t respond to anyone’s comments. You just shut them down.
E. Well, I was trying to explain my situation but it was difficult.
Ron stares at me. He nods his head.
E. I’m having this trouble at work. I go to meetings and it’s like I’m in the wrong state. Like I’ll want to cry, or I’ll be really angry.
Ron nods his head.
E. It’s like you’re trying to sympathize, but you really don’t.
Now Ron launches into his theory, and I’ll try and remember the gist, though most of it escapes me.
R. I can sympathize when you’re open and share. I find it more difficult when you shut down. Like you did in the group, and you do here. You would talk about this, but then you would switch to something else, like you were closing it down all the time, and not going into the substratas. And you shut people down. Like when E. said that she felt guilty that she couldn’t offer you any feedback.
E. What was I supposed to do with that comment? (I’d just said that’s OK.) Anyway it’s bullshit. She just probably had some negative comment she was censoring, most likely.
R. You don’t allow yourself time to consider and take people’s responses in. It’s as if you chop everything into pieces.
I think that’s what he said. I’m hazy on this. I kind of got stuck on the part where he admitted he couldn’t sympathize with me a lot of the time. That was hurtful to hear.
All through this session, I’m unable to really make eye contact with Ron. I kind of look him in the eyes, but never feel connected. But I don’t want to go through this whole conversation again like last session….I thought that had been ‘fixed’ last session, but apparently not. Very mysterious.
E. This week has been tough. I’ve been having these body memories again, and they wipe me out, and then I can’t sleep, and also they interfere with my ability to work. At work I was a mess.
R. Well then that’s what we should be talking about. So what are they like?
I then describe how they are. Choking, feeling angry, feeling held down, that it seems as if my father is there, the setting our old apartment from when I was a child.
I’m kind of reliving this as I tell it, and end up in a part that can’t really talk. It’s the worst feeling – some kind of disabling emotional pain. At one point I get up off the couch and kind of hide in a corner behind the coat rack. I have no idea why I do that.
Ron is saying some things….How do you feel in your body….Try to keep talking about what is happening….And he asks some questions which I don’t reply to, but I do keep talking to him.
It’s a scary experience to be in a part that can’t function.
E. I’m horrible…
R. So how come you decided it was your fault?
I go back to the couch and me the adult takes back control. I kind of shout to get back.
E. Argh! That part is not functional!
R. So maybe you were not functional as a young child.
E. No, I was. So shouldn’t you be getting me back together? We have like four minutes left.
So Ron obediently tells me to feel my feet on the floor and stuff like that. I pay no attention. I’m still partly in the part, and I couldn’t care less what he says. But I need to be functional to get out of the office, so I switch into the kid.
E. So I like snow. I hope it snows…..And I liked the kleenex box that was for kids that you used to have here, because it was for me.
R. I’ll get that kind when I go shopping next time.
E. Thank you. And I should go home and eat lunch….
R. So that kid part is a part from before you were hurt…
I don’t say anything to what Ron is saying, because I don’t care. Plus I’m too overwhelmed to talk. I grab my coat, say thank you, and head out the door. Ron seems a bit upset. I pause on the steps, staring out the window, trying to get it together to drive home.
Switching into the kid really comforts me. The kid and Ron don’t have the troubles that I have with him, and she tends to be cheerful and at least she wants things and enjoys things in a kid like way. She seems to be about life.
I don’t know what the memory was about, except that I was being hurt and was in pain. I would have been under eight years old, as we moved out of that apartment when I was seven. I wonder if I’ll ever remember this stuff in the regular way.
At home I am kind of shocked and trying to process this. I also get upset that Ron said he couldn’t sympathize with me. I write him an angry email, and he replies in this cryptic complicated way. So then when I wake up at night, I send him an email that I’m quitting the group and therapy most likely. And he emails back he doesn’t remember saying he didn’t sympathize, and could it be part of the memory I had?
No it wasn’t. He said it. But it’s true I don’t make good decisions when I’m processing trauma, so I’m putting off the decision to quit things.