This week work is different. I’m on a ‘special project’ which means I’ve actually had to show up at work every day but Friday. I’m in a room working with two managers, and we’re hammering out procedures for a new system. These women work by talking everything through, so they talk all day long. I talk too, but my role is more to consolidate and ask questions. I’m learning a lot about the organization and people who work there, since this is all also discussed. It’s very entertaining.
It’s lovely not to be lonely – it’s like having instant friends. The women are quite kind to me and include me in the conversation. And it’s nice to be needed – I have a definite role and they’d have some difficulty if I didn’t show up. At the same time, I find it very stressful to be in a social situation all day long. They don’t take breaks, though I need lunch so I take that. By the end of the day I’m really wired and can’t sleep without some kind of pill.
So today I’m trying to relax and regroup, trying to calm my system down again. I get revved up and get stuck in all the anxiety. I wish I could do this work without triggering off my anxiety / trauma responses.
Still, overall it’s a good thing. One more week of it. I hope I get more projects like this.
Going to therapy yesterday I am still somewhat revved up in my anxious state from work. Ron is wearing a suit and looks serious.
Now what did we discuss?
First of all of course the fact that I’d quit therapy by email after my last session. I apologize and say I no longer feel that way. I wish though I’d described more what it had been like for me after the session. Somehow I forget to do that.
The session seems like a ticking bomb to me. I’m afraid I’ll feel like last time afterwards, as I don’t understand what caused my reaction. So a lot of the time I just sit and try and feel what I’m feeling. A strong feeling is that I don’t want to talk. Last session I pushed myself to talk about my life. This session, I’m not going to do that.
So I sit and I feel sad and alone. I tell Ron I feel as if I’m lost in a grey fog, by myself, with no one else there.
R. Can you shout out for someone to help you?
This seems impossible to me. The sadness and loneliness are completely overwhelming – I can’t shout.
R. So someone has to come and find you.
E. I guess.
We try and figure out what happened last time. I tell him he didn’t seem sympathetic to my problems with the previous group. He asks for specifics and I say I can’t remember.
We sit a lot, with me just feeling all this foggy sadness.
E. It seems like when I come into your office, I can’t talk like I normally would. I’m not usually completely inarticulate, but I am here.
Ron seems to understand this and he nods.
R. This is a part of you that doesn’t express herself with words…And this is how you’re showing up, today, at this moment.
I nod and then we sit.
R. Are you aware of any other parts of you that want to say something?
So the kid comes out and talks to Ron about going to work, and how there are ladies and they talk a lot.
R. Do you talk?
E. the kid. No. I’m not supposed to talk. I did once or twice but I’m not supposed to. We have to make money.
We sit and Ron asks the kid what’s happening.
E. the kid. Nothing. I don’t know whether you’re my friend or not.
The kid thinks of Ron as her friend.
R. Do you know what a therapist is? Kind of like a friend, but kind of different.
I switch out.
R. You look irritated.
I am in fact irritated by this. The kid does not understand therapy. She’s five, for God’s sake. Ron misses the point for the kid. She’s trying to determine if he’s trustworthy or not….whatever he wants to call himself. Then I immediately forget how I feel.
E. No….I just still feel sad.
I keep looking at the clock, because I don’t want to be kicked out like last time.
E. I was just thinking about whether you’d like me more if I talked, or if I didn’t talk….
The same old conversation about whether Ron likes me or not.
R. You know, I’m not aware of any change in my feelings towards you. But I’ve said some things you didn’t like. I wonder if it’s you that’s not liking me so much anymore.
E. I’m projecting. Could be. I remember when I first came to see you, I felt so good. I felt like someone out there cared about me. It meant a lot. And now….it’s different.
The atmosphere in the room brightens when I talk about how much I liked Ron in the past. He likes to be liked. Or I like liking. I don’t know, one or the other or both.
That’s all I can remember. There was a lot of silence.
I could have hit ‘over-ride’ on my tendency to sit in a lost silence, but I didn’t. Some part of me gets extremely distressed when she’s not allowed space. I decided if this was how I was showing up, I’d sit with it. I’d be there silent, tearful and lost dammit.
At home I feel pretty tired but OK. No horrible torture and anxiety. I feel fairly calm in fact.