We mainly talked about two things in my session on Friday. 1. How I feel after swimming and 2. my visit to my family on the weekend.
Did I mention it’s hot in my city? I arrive at therapy a few minutes early, take a seat on a park bench, and am attacked by a butterfly! It seemed to think I was a flower.
I sit down. Ron looks evenly balanced today, and is wearing a light blue shirt that suits him. Anyhow.
E. There are a bunch of things I could talk about today….
Ron as per usual doesn’t say anything.
E. After last session, I was depressed for the rest of the day….but by Saturday, it was basically over. So it wasn’t too bad.
E. I almost stepped in front of a car on the way here…I did step in front of it but it stopped. I need to be careful.
E. I’m still afraid, coming to see you. After all this time. But I’m not afraid of you, otherwise I wouldn’t come to you for therapy. That wouldn’t make sense. The best explanation I can think of is that it’s a part. When there’s the same response over and over, that doesn’t change, it always seems to be a part.
R. Maybe you’re afraid of what comes up during sessions. Like going to the dentist. You like your dentist, but you’re afraid to go there because of what gets triggered.
E. Maybe. You’ve said this before. It doesn’t seem the same to me, but maybe that’s true.
E. You know, for that last group session….I was feeling a lot of fear before hand, so I tried this meditation, where you feel the feeling and forgive it for being there. Anyway, that’s what I’d read about so I tried it. I’m not happy about having the fear.
Ron has this skeptical look when I mention meditation. I’m too engrossed in what I’m saying to ask him about it – maybe I’ll ask him next time if he has something against it.
E. So what I realized was….that a huge issue for me is belonging. I was worried about whether I was accepted by the group and if I belonged….I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal. I mean, of course it’s an issue in the background for everyone, we all want to belong….but for me, I wasn’t realizing I felt like that, what a big deal it was for me.
R. So belonging was a big issue for you?
E. Yeah, I guess it was.
This doesn’t go anywhere else.
E. I started going swimming again. I find though I get dissociated from it. I love to swim. The kid loves it. The water, the coolness, the little kids.
R. When does the dissociation happen?
E. I don’t know.
R. Is it at the pool, while you’re swimming?
E. At the pool everything seems fine. I’m not really thinking about how I feel…it just all seems fine.
R. So when do you notice it?
E. Well, when I came home, at first I was OK. I think I made lunch – food becomes an issue when I’m dissociated, but I still made lunch, so I must have been OK. Then I must have tried to work, and realized I couldn’t. I felt – two-dimensional, like I was made of paper. Then I felt an overwhelming need to lie down…so I fell asleep.
R. How did you feel when you woke up?
E. Still dissociated. Bad. It’s like I’m two-dimensional, then there’s this wall around me, and behind the wall, there is a bad thing, pushing against the wall. But I can’t really feel anything except this looming vague badness…
R. So that wall…that is you.
E. That is me? So then….I ended up breathing into this, and underneath were a bunch of body memories….the same as always, choking, struggling. I hate them. Any time I try and do anything, I get them. They’re ruining my life.
R. What happened ruined your life. Not the memories….
E. So what should I do?
R. Integration. You listen to them.
E. That’s it? You told me about listening to them the first time I came to see you.
Ron nods. I’m looking for more input here. It seems like his job should be to help me with this – is listening all he’s got? Jeeze Luise. I feel a little frustrated.
…to be continued