I’m still processing my last therapy session. I seem to need to lie down a lot and just allow feelings to come up, which for me tends to be sensations and not so much concrete feelings like sadness. Though there is a large component of sadness and anger, but also….it feels almost like allowing parts of my body to thaw out. Thawing takes a long time and can be a painful process. So I feel heavy, clumsy and kind of sleepy all the time.
I have tried to blog my session but can’t manage it this time. I’ve blocked out some of it it seems. I will summarize instead.
Ron was kind of rumpled and bristly looking this Friday, which I don’t mind at all. Kind of blurred around the edges.
We talked about how I feel after exercise, and a bit about friendships.
E. I’ve been swimming and went jogging once. I’m tired of avoiding everything because everything makes me dissociated, so it’s ended up I do almost nothing. And right now, I have time to be non-functional, so I decided I’m going to exercise a bit. I’m trying to calibrate it so the after effects aren’t too severe.
R. So what happens. Do you like exercise?
E. Yes. I’m fine while I’m exercising. I don’t exercise hard – I don’t even break a sweat, or exercise as much as you’re supposed to to get an anti-depressant effect. Everything seems fine while I’m doing it. Just when I get home. It varies depending on how much I did. But the severe case is I am Ok for the first hour or so, energetic. Then I get hit with a huge tiredness. I think I’ll just lie down for a minute. I fall asleep. Then I wake up and I’m so depressed, I can’t really function, my mind is slowed down…then it takes me three or four hours to get out of that state.
R. What are you thinking when you are depressed.
E. I don’t know – nothing much. My mind is slowed down. I think about dying I guess.
My walk with R triggered this whole process also.
E. So I went on a walk with R, whom you know, who is in your group.
As if Ron would have forgotten who R is.
Ron gets this remote expression on his face.
E. Wow, that look….
R. How do I look?
E. You look….it’s hard to describe. Like you’re saying, oh I’ve seen this before….
R. Like I’ve seen this before?
E. Not exactly – I’m trying to describe how you look. Hostile is too strong a word…not friendly.
Ron doesn’t reply to this. My impression is he doesn’t approve of a friendship between R and myself, but I’m eager to talk about what happened after the walk, so I don’t ask him about this. After the session, I really wanted to know what his opinion is.
E. We went for a walk, and we walked for longer than I’m comfortable with, past the bridge….we walked almost two hours.
R. You felt connected to R?
E. Yes. So the next day, I’m out shopping, and all of a sudden I’m hit by this wave of sadness. I thought I needed to go home right away. So at home, it was as if I’d been in a therapy session with you or something. I needed to lie down, I felt really really awful.
R. What were you thinking when you were out shopping?
E. Nothing – Just about food. I was buying chicken. I was wondering about the free-range chicken, how expensive it would be.
R. So with exercise, feeling connected to someone, taking care of yourself by buying free-range chicken – you end up back in your body. You are more yourself then, not less.
This seems so wrong to me. I fall into these awful states where I can’t function, and Ron thinks that’s my real self?
E. What? So the theory is, I’m disconnected from my body usually, then with exercise, I connect with my body, and that feels really bad to me? This is the theory?
Ron nods his head.
E. I wonder….R and I were talking about some deeper things. I was explaining a bit about my issues, therapy….I wonder if that stirred things up for me. I wish I hadn’t talked about those things.
Then Ron starts saying stuff about dissociation. He also tries to pinpoint the time when I dissociate. It’s all probably true and worth-while, but it makes me angry.
E. There, it’s happening now. I feel those feelings – dissociated, like I’m split in half. I can’t understand what you’re saying to me. I feel….sad.
R. Why do you feel sad?
E. I don’t know why. It doesn’t make sense.
R. You’ve talked in the past about things that it makes sense to be sad about.
E. And I feel angry. With you. Because….you have no idea how much I’ve struggled with this, tried to feel, been disabled by it.
R. I know you’ve worked hard on it. And…I’m perhaps being an authority figure, patriarchal, and you need to block out what I say.
E. But you’re not like that.
R. Maybe enough like that that you react.
Then I sit and struggle with these feelings. Anger, sadness, and being taken over somehow, because I don’t understand where these feelings are coming from.
And at some point here, Ron ends up gazing at me again, and I gaze back. His eyes are a deep medium blue. Usually they just look dark, with the window behind him, but today I can see the colour.
to be continued